Fears over £12m Cumbria road cash race against time

Pothole Image copyright PA
Image caption The money has been allocated to repair potholes

An unexpected £12m government windfall may have to be returned by highways officials if they can't spend it by March.

The cash for potholes and roads maintenance was announced last week after being trailed in the autumn budget.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has stipulated that the funds must be used by the end of the financial year.

Road projects often wind down in winter due to bad weather.

The DfT has been asked if the rules regarding when the money has to be spent can be relaxed, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

'Accelerate' projects

Peter Hosking, the county council's highways network manager for South Cumbria, said: "We are at the very early stages of understanding this ourselves.

"We have gone back to government asking does it really have to be spent, or can some of the money be carried over into the new financial year."

He added that the council planned to "accelerate" projects that were originally planned for 2019-20 to get them done with the new funds.

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