In what the government has called an ‘unprecedented’ level of funding, £8.3 billion has been pledged to help address the problem of potholes on the UK’s roads.

The resurfacing programme announced by the Department for Transport uses funds redirected from the cancelled HS2 extension, which the government says will help to resurface over 5,000 miles of road across the country over the next 11 years. The first part of the funding will be available to local authorities immediately.

The funding could not come at a better time, after the AA reported last month that it had received a record number of call-outs for pothole related incidents in October.

The North-West, North East, Yorkshire and Humber will receive £3.3 billion, the West Midlands and East Midlands £2.2 billion, and £2.8 billion will go to local authorities in the East of England, South East, South West and London.

“Most people travel by road and potholes can cause misery for motorists, from expensive vehicle repairs to bumpy, slow, and dangerous journeys,” said transport secretary Mark Harper. “Our £8.3bn boost to repair roads across the country shows that we’re on the side of drivers. Today’s biggest ever funding uplift for local road improvements is a victory for all road users, who will enjoy smoother, faster and safer trips - as we use redirected HS2 funding to make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future.”

The funding has been broadly welcomed by road organisations, although some have sounded a note of caution given the amount of repair work needed.

“The fact the Government has found a significant additional pot of revenue should give councils the certainty of funding they need to plan proper long-term road maintenance, something we have been calling for many years,” said Simon Williams, RAC’s head of policy.

“We hope local authorities will use the money in the most effective way possible by resurfacing the very worst roads, keeping those in reasonable condition in better states for longer through surface dressing, and filling potholes as permanently as possible wherever necessary.

“This should in time go a considerable way to bringing our roads back to a fit-for-purpose state and saving drivers hundreds of pounds in the process from not having to fork out for frustrating repairs to their vehicles.”

According to the Asphalt Industry Alliance, 49% of local roads (amounting to over 100,000 miles) could deteriorate to the point of needing to be rebuilt within the next 15 years, without appropriate maintenance measures.