The Government have undertaken the biggest ever pothole-filling programme, with £500 million funding each year between 2021 and 2024-25 specifically to tackle potholes on our roads. Further funding for local road maintenance will be agreed as part of the spending review.
Drivers will be pleased to have heard that answer from the Minister. She may also be aware that Lincolnshire County Council has an oven-ready project to construct the North Hykeham relief road, part of the original eastern bypass that I have campaigned for, for many years. That section will give Lincoln its full ring road, boost connectivity in the region and lead to further economic growth. Will my hon. Friend and her ministerial colleagues seriously consider providing the funding for that project and for dualling the whole of the eastern bypass—locally, we all know that that should happen—and perhaps meet me and council leaders in Lincolnshire to enable the completion of this important project which I have promoted incessantly?
I congratulate my hon. Friend on his diligent campaigning over a number of years. He knows of the Government’s extremely strong support for that project and the vital role it plays in his constituency. My ministerial colleagues are currently considering the business case very carefully and they will be very happy to meet my hon. Friend to consider the next steps.
From my conversations with Devon County Council, it is clear that one of the barriers to improving roads and filling potholes in my constituency is uncertainty about future funding. Has my hon. Friend looked into whether multi-year funding settlements might be a solution?
Absolutely. The Government are keenly aware that local authorities require certainty in funding to plan their highways asset management programme effectively. Any decision on multi-year funding settlements will be decided as part of the ongoing spending review.
The A15, leading to the A46, is a major strategic corridor for north Lincolnshire. Improved north-south connectivity via the A15 plays a vital function as a strategic economic corridor and is critical for facilitating the movement of goods in connection with heavy engineering and the food sector. It also provides an important economic role, linking the midlands and the south to the Humber ports, the refineries and one of the largest enterprise zones in the country on the south Humber bank. Does my hon. Friend agree that it is vital that such routes are improved as part of the levelling up process?
Absolutely. My hon. Friend is completely right that improving our road network is an essential part of our levelling-up network. That is why the Prime Minister has brought forward £100 million of funding for 29 shovel-ready projects. She will be pleased to know that £4.5 million of funding was awarded to North Lincolnshire unitary authority for such work on the A15.