The UK Government is to provide £23m in capital assistance for research into new road surface materials and pothole repair techniques.

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the funding programme for technology that could make road potholes free in the UK.

Eight local authorities have been assigned the responsibility to oversee the real-world tests of new road surfaces and technologies. It will then assess what techniques have the potential to provide long-term solutions.

Eight councils will participate in the Live Labs projects, including Buckinghamshire (£4.49m), Central Bedfordshire (£1.05m), Cumbria (£1.6m), Staffordshire (£3.95m), Kent, Reading (£4.75m), and Suffolk (£4.41m), as well as Solihull and Birmingham (£2.65m).

The schemes involve expansion of testing plastic-hybrid roads in Cumbria, while kinetic energy off Buckinghamshire roads will be used to power lighting. In Central Bedfordshire, tests will see geothermal energy created from paths to protect car parks and bus stations from freezing.

Grayling said: “Potholes are the number one enemy for road users and this government is looking at numerous ways to keep our roads in the best condition.

“Today’s trials will see how new technologies work in the real world to ensure our roads are built for the 21st century.”

The UK Chancellor Philip Hammond allocated an additional £420m for road maintenance in the budget announced in November for the 2018-19 financial year.

Live Labs project brings the total funding for pothole repair and roads maintenance from 2015 to 2020 to up to £6.6bn.