Boost welcome but massive pothole still left in maintenance budget

Reacting to the Government’s announcement of a £8.3bn boost to local roads maintenance [1], as a result of its reallocation of money after cancelling HS2 north of Birmingham (Network North announcement), Chris Todd, director of Transport Action Network said:

“While an increase in funding for tackling potholes is welcome, this is less than half the money required to clear the backlog of local bridge and road maintenance [2]. Until we see the wider funding settlement for local authorities we also remain cautious about Government claims. Previously, increases in pothole funding have come alongside cuts to capital transport budgets, leaving local authorities worse off.

“Our other concern is that there is very little increase in funding over the next two years, yet our roads are crumbling now. The Government is claiming credit for taking action today yet it has delayed making real changes until after the General Election.

“What we’d like to see is a genuine desire to clear the backlog and get our roads back into a safe condition as soon as possible. Cancelling the £10bn Lower Thames Crossing would enable this ambition to be realised. That would provide better and safer roads for everyone and allow that change to happen more quickly.”

– ENDS –

Notes to editors

[1] Press notice issued today

[2] Earlier this year the backlog in local roads maintenance was estimated to be £14bn, while the backlog in local bridge maintenance was estimated at £6bn, making a total of £20bn. Hence Government announcement addresses just over 40% of the backlog in local road and bridge maintenance.



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