THE state of North Yorkshire’s roads is “rapidly becoming a crisis”, according to a council leader who has appealed to the Government for millions of pounds for repairs.

As reported last week, North Yorkshire County Council leader John Weighell has asked Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to at least match-fund the £5 million pot which the authority is setting aside for urgent roads maintenance in 2014/15.

The council has a repairs backlog totlaling £322 million and says it receives only £28m a year for repairs instead of the £60m it estimates it needs.

Coun Weighell today stepped up his comments, releasing a letter he has written to Mr McLoughlin.

In it, he said: “We are considering investing more of our reserves if you are prepared to invest with us. Insufficient funding for highway maintenance is not a problem unique to North Yorkshire, but I believe we feel the pain particularly badly.

"North Yorkshire has the third largest road network, the topography means we are vulnerable to extreme weather, and our dispersed population and rural economy make our minor roads particularly important.”

Coun Weighell and Harrogate and Knaresborough Andrew Jones, will meet Mr McLoughlin on February 27.