The PCT's Anne Lynch said the cash would help to reduce accidents.
An NHS governor has resigned after a primary care trust pledged £1m to help a council pay for extra road gritting.
Kath Toward has quit in protest at Durham and Darlington PCT's decision to give the cash to Durham County Council in an attempt to prevent accidents.
She said gritting was not a health issue and that the money should be spent on "struggling" NHS services.
The PCT says the move will help improve the quality of life for elderly people who often suffer falls in winter.
Former trust governor Ms Toward said: "I would have put (the £1m) into therapy services across the board, I would have definitely done more than ever to help the carers and some old people's services as they are struggling as well."
The PCT said the council would receive £500,000 this year and a further £500,000 next winter.
A spokesman added: "We have allocated funding to Durham County Council for agreed health improvement work.
"This money will be spent in a variety of ways but, in particular, on gritting extra paths and pavements which will result in improving the quality of life for the elderly who often fall and fracture bones in icy weather.
"It will also go towards additional road gritting as road traffic accidents have a major health impact and often cause death or lifelong disability for the individuals involved."
Durham County Council said it welcomed the additional funding.
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