THE Government has awarded Wiltshire Council £3m to repair potholes caused by the severe winter rainfall.

The money is coming from the Government’s exceptional payment fund of £183.5m. It will be used to repair the estimated 25 miles of potholes caused by one of the worst winters on record, during which some the region’s towns and villages were badly flooded.

Affected councils were urged to apply to the fund for financial support, with Wiltshire Council getting the amount it requested.

Wiltshire councillor Philip Whitehead, highways contract portfolio holder, said: “In terms of snow and frost we actually had a mild winter but rain does more damage to the roads as it can cause damage underneath and result in potholes.

“We suspect the weather probably caused more than £3m worth of damage but we’ll only find that out in the long term when the damage takes shape. We felt that £3m was a reasonable figure to ask for.”

Elsewhere in the South West, Somerset has received £12.3m from the fund and Gloucestershire has been allotted £3.3m.

Now the bad weather has come to an end, Wiltshire Council has been able to assign more to pothole repair and has doubled its teams from four to eight.

Over the next six years Wiltshire Council is investing an extra £52m to improve roads. Its annual highways budget has risen to £21m.

Coun Whitehead said: “We are prioritising the roads that carry the most traffic as they suffer the most damage and we hope this investment will save on long-term repair bills. We are concentrating on A and B roads but we are also looking to improve C roads too.”

In coming months, each area board will be given a list of planned road repair works and asked if there are any they would like prioritised.