Councils in England have been awarded funding to refurbish bridges, improve junctions and boost flood defences as part of a multi-million pound government investment announced by transport minister Jesse Norman.

Nineteen projects across the country will receive a share of £75 million of government investment for essential road maintenance. The local funding announcement comes as Highways England says it has completed seven major schemes valued at more than £800m in the past year and a further 15 will start or open in 2017/18.

Local authorities were challenged to put forward schemes which could make a real difference to road users for a share of the £75m. Winning projects include junction improvements, repairs and resurfacing, flood resilience measures, bridge and viaduct refurbishment, and improved drainage. The improvements aim to cut congestion, reduce journey times and improve reliability, as well as helping to support local businesses and boost economic growth.

The challenge fund is one part of the £6.1 billion being provided to local highway authorities in England, outside London, between 2015-16 and 2020-21.