MORE than £5 million has been handed to Dorset County Council to repair potholes and resurface roads damaged by severe weather.

The Government announced today how it would be sharing a £183.5million emergency fund amongst councils in England.

Dorset County Council was awarded a total of £5.8million.

Cllr Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset County Council, said: "We’re pleased that the amount of damage the county has received over the past few months has been recognised, but this money is only part of the funding we need to repair all the storm-damaged roads.

"All roads have been surveyed as part of the bidding process and the estimated cost of repairing the network is £8million.

"An intense programme of works will be planned to make sure this money is spent by the Government’s deadline of the summer holidays.

“The plan will look at carrying out repairs in the most efficient way, but balanced with causing the least disruption to local residents.

"This is going to be a busy few months with many major roads across the county needing attention.

“This allocation and its timescale means that planned works will need to be postponed until later in the year."

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that damage to roads causes misery for drivers and local communities and the severe weather over the last few months has made the problem worse.

He added: “This extra money will help make a real difference to the millions of road users and residents across England who rely on local roads, giving them safer and smoother journeys.”

All local councils will be required to publish information on their websites showing how and where the money will be spent.