On 15th January I marked 'National Pothole Day' by calling for Cheltenham to receive a slice of a new £50 million-a-year 'Pothole Fund'.
The creation of the national Pothole Fund was announced by George Osborne back in the November 2015 Autumn Statement, and now I want Cheltenham to get its fair share of cash for pothole repairs.
The latest stage in my pothole campaign was to address this issue directly in the House of Commons when I was Cheltenham's MP, but this was just one part of many months' work to ensure our roads are up to scratch. Following the 2015 election, I organised a 'Pothole Summit', giving residents the chance to raise pothole-related concerns directly with the County Council. At the meeting, a pledge was secured from Shire Hall to fix the top ten pothole zones in Cheltenham within 28 days. All but one of the areas were repaired within the allocated period, while the final zone - the Bath Road/Suffolk Road junction - being fully resurfaced in October last year.
Potholes are a long standing bugbear of mine - they are dangerous for motorists and cyclists alike. They are also ugly. Together with Cheltonians I have cajoled the authorities into focusing on Cheltenham and they have made some progress. But we’re not where I’d like us to be. With winter finally arriving, the threat to our roads increases. That's why I would continue too press the County Council to ensure Cheltenham gets its fair share of the new £50 million-a-year pothole fund.
We must keep up the push, which is why I kept up the pressure in Westminster when I was Cheltenham's MP. In December last year I had an individual meeting with the Roads Minister, Andrew Jones, to discuss methods of ensuring local road repairs are more long-lasting. Together we can improve the roads in our town once and for all.
Alex Chalk is no longer the MP for Cheltenham, and is now standing as the Conservative candidate for Cheltenham in the 2017 General Election.