GOVERNMENT funding to repair damaged roads has been slashed by nearly a quarter for the coming year.

The County Councils Network says the reduction in funding across England means councils will "have no choice" but to cancel planned road maintenance projects.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council will receive £2.4 million to maintain roads in 2021-22, the Department for Transport has announced.

That is £732,000 less than the £3.1 million provided in the current financial year – a reduction of 23 per cent.

Across England, road maintenance funding has been cut by £400 million for the coming year, with £1.1 billion to be handed out to councils and combined authorities.

The funding includes £500 million to repair potholes, with £1.1 million going to Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council as part of its allocation.

Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said the cut in funding for road maintenance was 'worrying'.

He added: "This can only lead to roads deteriorating further and being in a worse overall state than they are now.

"Councils require certainty of funding over a longer period of time – ideally five years – so they can plan resurfacing and routine maintenance rather than being forced into having a more piecemeal approach."

Road maintenance funding is allocated to councils and combined authorities based on a formula which uses the length of roads, number of bridges and level of street lighting.

In addition, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council will also receive £1.4 million for transport improvement projects such as road safety schemes, cycle ways and bus lanes for 2021-22. This is an increase of £11,000 compared to this financial year.

A DfT spokesperson said: "We know high-quality local roads make a difference to people's lives, which is why we have committed £1.125 billion to local roads maintenances for 2021-22, including £500 million from the Potholes Fund which will allow the equivalent of 10 million potholes to be rectified by local councils."