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Government's £5.3 million boost for Surrey's flood repairs
1:57pm Friday 21st March 2014 in News
Work to fix Surrey's flood-damaged roads has been given a £5.3 million boost by the Government.
Surrey County Council was allocated the cash injection towards its initial £15 million repair bill by Whitehall in an announcement this week.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin confirmed the amount towards the highways repairs needed after much of the county was devastated by the flooding that hit Surrey over Christmas and last month.
The £5.3 million award, the eighth-highest awarded in England, is part of a £173.5 million emergency recovery fund to help communities nationwide.
A major clear-up of the 2,500 worst-affected Surrey roads is underway, with 18,500 potholes fixed in January and February alone.
The potholes total was up almost 4,500 on the same period last year.
The £15 million bill, which is expected to rise significantly once final costs are in, includes £800,000 alone to replace Flanchford Road bridge near Reigate.
David Hodge, leader of Surrey County Council, said: “We’re doing everything we can to put things right for the residents of Surrey, but our roads and bridges repair bill from the flooding is at least £15 million, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg as we’re still assessing the damage.”
Coun Hodge said: “This repair bill is a massive burden on our finances, so we’re very grateful for this extra £5.3 million Government funding to help the people of Surrey.”
Last month, the county council revealed the double impact of the flooding over Christmas and in February had resulted in the repair bill to fix Surrey's roads and bridges spiralling.
The cost of the Christmas damage alone was estimated at £12.5 million.
Over Christmas, heavy storms and burst riverbanks, including the Mole and the Wey, left parts of East Surrey, including in Horley and Redhill, underwater. County council teams tackled hundreds of flooded roads, plus fallen trees and damaged bridges. In February, the emergency services, councils, the Environment Agency and the Army helped thousands of people affected by River Thames flooding. More than 1,000 people were rescued by Surrey firefighters. The county council bid for Government funding to help repair six miles of A-roads and B-roads, plus 39 bridges.