REPAIRS to Devon’s weather ravaged roads will be boosted by more than £9million in government cash over the next two years.

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The county council this week welcomed an announcement of extra support for its highway network as ‘early Christmas present’.

The Department for Transport on Tuesday unveiled a £215million nationwide investment to renew, repair and extend the life of roads across the country.

Devon will receive a £9.252 million slice of this capital funding over the next two years for highway maintenance.

The county council will receive more than £6 million this coming financial year and around £3.2 million in 2014/15.

Severe weather in July left Devon with a clean-up and repair bill which exceeded £5million - and a further £3million of damage was caused in November.

“This is very good news and is exactly the sort of support we have been calling for following the severe flooding this year,” said Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highways and transportation.

“Our county took a battering last month and in the Summer. That has devastated many communities and impacted on our infrastructure.

“With more than 8,000 miles of roads we have a larger network to maintain than any other authority in the country.

“Our roads are vital to our economy and the flooding has hit Devon particularly hard. I’m pleased that the Government has recognised that with this grant - it’s an early Christmas present and it will help us in our sustained efforts to repair our roads.

“We will have a thorough look at our highway infrastructure across the county to ensure this funding will be targeted at connecting smaller communities to the main road network which will help with accessibility.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the funding could be used for improvements such as road resurfacing, bridge maintenance or repairing damage to highway infrastructure caused by severe weather events.

In 2011, Devon received a £9.3million Winter Damage Grant which funded around 800 road repair schemes across the county.

Details of how the money is being spent will be published on Devon County Council’s website at the end of each financial year.

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