ESSENTIAL road repairs are finally getting under way in North Devon despite Devon County Council facing a £687 million repair bill.
Work is now under way to repair many of North Devon's worst roads after a harsh winter with extreme conditions, which is estimated to have caused a further £12.2 million worth of damage.
North Devon Roads are high on the agenda for the council, with roads in Bideford, Braunton, Rackenford, Umberleigh, Ilfracombe, Bishops Nympton and Holsworthy all due for repair by the end of the summer.
The surface dressing programme, which is now half-way through, will see the road surface restored and sealed to prevent water damage and skidding, and extend the life of the road by up to 10 years.
Road surface repairs are going to be taking place across North Devon until September 2. Some of the roads due for repair are Burrows Close Lane in Braunton, Mount Pleasant in Bideford, the B3233 at Yelland and Shirwell Cross at Muddiford.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highways, said road redressing is the most cost effective way to repair roads.
"It is in everyone's long term interest to prevent our highway network from deteriorating to a point where more costly treatments are needed, which is why a 'worst first' approach to repairing our roads is less cost effective.
"For all roads, including those we cannot afford to fully restore, safety remains a priority and that is why we have a separate reactive maintenance process for dealing with potholes and defects."
The extensive programme comes after it was reported that the council was facing a huge backlog of repair bills of £687 million for the 8,000 miles of road the council covers, which is the largest of any council in the country.
The council has recently pledged its support to a campaign set up by the Local Government Authority to urge the Government to provide greater funding for future road repairs.