AN extra 63,000 potholes across Worcestershire are going to be filled in - after the county emerged as one of the nation's biggest winners in a £168 million funding bonanza.

The Government has decided to hand Worcestershire a surprise £3.3 million towards repairing potholes as part of a massive project to restore the roads.

The cash, from the Department for Transport (DFT), is one of the largest awards after 148 councils nationwide made bids for extra help.

The council's leadership decided to make the bid after surveys among the public showed they consider improving the roads the second biggest priority for Worcestershire after social care.

The DFT said it decided to give larger amounts to councils which already show serious commitment to the roads and have the best repair methods.

To show just some comparisons Bristol got just £434,000, Bath £473,000, Plymouth £379,000, Dudley £567,000, Wolverhampton £500,000, Leicestershire £2.5 million and Birmingham nothing, as it did not bid.

In the heart of England only Gloucestershire, which also got £3.3 million, fared similar to this county, while Staffordshire came out top with £4.5 million.

Your Worcester News can also reveal how Prime Minister David Cameron has got involved, by saying Worcestershire deserves a particularly high award.

Mr Cameron said: “Potholes damage cars, motorbikes and cycles and cost hardworking people money for repairs. Helping fill in potholes is helping hardworking families and we need to do more of it.

“That is why we are giving this extra money which could help fix around 63,000 potholes in the area – making a real difference to journeys for businesses, commuters and families in Worcestershire.

“Worcestershire has shown it is one of the leading areas in the country in its determination to beat potholes, and is receiving extra cash as a result.”

Councillor John Smith, the cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "This is absolutely fantastic news for the county, it's brilliant and will go a long way.

"I know we made a very strong bid and for a long time we've had this campaign where we've encouraged people to report potholes online.

"It's great news and I'd say to people, keep on reporting them and we will do our best."

In April Worcestershire got £2.1 million towards potholes and a separate £10.9 million roads maintenance fund from central Government for 2014/15.

After the winter floods the council decided to commit an extra £700,000 towards repairing potholes, with around 7,000 being restored since the turn of the year.

All 148 councils to make bids got a share of the £168 million kitty - which will repair three million potholes nationwide and is the biggest single investment since the 1970s.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Potholes are the bane of all our lives and this funding announced is an important step in ridding our roads of this menace."