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Cycling charity given pothole funds

Money to enable more cyclists to report pothole problems through a new smartphone application is being provided by the Government.

Whitehall is giving £30,000 to help cycling charity the Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC), revamp its '"Fill That Hole" website and develop a new app.

More than nine million iPhone users can download the website's current app to report potholed roads to their councils.

The new app could boost that figure to more than 26 million and is expected to be ready in February, at the start of "pothole season", when the winter damage to roads is at its worst.

Visiting Oldham in Lancashire to announce the initiative today, roads minister Robert Goodwill said: "The Government is serious about tackling potholes. At best they are an irritation but at worst they can damage vehicles and pose a serious danger to cyclists.

"That is why we want people to tell councils where to find them so they can fill them in. This app means more people are going to be able to report potholes more easily."

He went on: "Filling potholes in quickly is only one half of the story. Research has also shown a long-term approach to road maintenance, rather than patch and m end, can save councils and taxpayers money and potentially save lives thanks to better road conditions."

CTC chief executive Gordon Seabright said: "CTC has been working to ensure roads are safe for cycling since our foundation in 1878. We are delighted to have the Government's support."

The Department for Transport pointed out that the Government has provided more than £3 billion to authorities in England (excluding London) between 2011/12 and 2015/16, plus an additional £200 million in 2011 following the severe winter.

In June, the department announced a further £5.8 billion for local highways maintenance from 2015/16 to 2020/21. This equates to around £976 million per year.

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