Dorset County Council has started to repair roads that were ravaged by the winter storms.

And the council will be using £5.8m from the Government’s emergency fund to support the programme.

The works have been structured so that the machinery and the teams’ time can be used in the most efficient way possible, according to the council.

They will be mending roads that have been designated as high priority and that are located nearby. The teams will then move to another area. They will continue in this way across the county.

In the meantime other highways teams will be temporarily repairing potholes to ensure that roads that are in the maintenance plan remain safe for road users.

Permanent pothole and road defect repair will also continue on roads that are in a good overall condition.

Andrew Martin, head of highways, said: “It has been a complicated process, prioritising roads and then planning the route of the teams to use the Government’s money in the best way possible.

“We are repairing long sections of A and B roads, together with shorter, trickier C and D roads. The lower class roads are strategically important for Dorset, but they often give us difficult logistic problems with the size of the machinery that we use.

“The Government want us to use this emergency fund by the summer holidays. This may mean that we only have a short-time to inform local residents that this is happening in their area – so please be patient, we will do our best to keep people up-to-date.”

Temporary and more permanent signs will explain to road users what is happening in specific areas. These may include advisory speed limits when the surface is in a poor condition.

Cllr Peter Finney, Cabinet member for environment and economy, said: “It’s important for us to maintain Dorset roads for the benefit of the economy. The tight deadline the Government has given us means that we have to work quickly to take advantage of this fund.

“The county council will continue to bid for more funding from the Government to help address the funding gap between what we need and what we have received.

“As always I would caution drivers to adapt their driving to the conditions of the road and take care on roads that have deteriorated.”