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Millions extra cash for road repairs in Barnsley after severe winter

Mounting cost: Barnsley Council has been forced to add millions of pounds to its road repairs budget.
Mounting cost: Barnsley Council has been forced to add millions of pounds to its road repairs budget.
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Severe winter weather caused so much damage to the roads network in Barnsley that the council is pumping an extra £4m into its repairs programme.

Severe winter weather caused so much damage to the roads network in Barnsley that the council is pumping an extra £4m into its repairs programme.

Local authorities are allocated money for highways work as part of their funding settlement by the Government and Barnsley Council had already agreed to put in an extra £2m over two years, taking the total to £24.6m.

But last winter, which saw a prolonged period of severe weather late in the season, caused unexpected damage.

The council ended the 2017/18 financial year in a healthy position and that has allowed the ruling Cabinet to divert another £4m into road repairs, with a total of £28.6m now to be spent by 2020.

Coun Roy Miller told Cabinet members: “The very long, severe winter we have had has caused a considerable amount of damage to the highways infrastructure.”

In the long term, a total repair bill has been estimated at between £58m and £62m.

Coun Miller said there would be consultations to follow about where the additional money would be spent.

A report to councillors said the investment would: “realise benefits for local residents, the local economy, businesses and visitors through improved highway infrastructure.”

Numbers of insurance claims against the council which have been refused have increased in the last few months, but are still below the council’s target.

However, there are claims still in the system awaiting decisions on liability, with full information about which claims have been successfully defended only becoming available in the future.