The LGA has announced councils have lost the funding to carry out nearly 10 million pothole repairs.
The Department for Transport has slashed the overall capital funding to councils for local road maintenance by £400 million – a 22 per cent reduction – for 2021/22. This would have covered more than 9.5 million pothole repairs, which is the “equivalent of 64,000 repairs in every council area”.
The LGA has now called on the Government to restore the £400 million in the Spending Review. This is being accompanied by calls for an extra £500 million to be allocated to councils each year for road repairs, and would increase the budget for local roads maintenance to £1.8 billion.
Councillor David Renard, Transport spokesperson for the LGA, said: “The ability of councils to improve local transport connectivity and infrastructure, including upgrades to local bus, road and cycle infrastructure, is critical to government ambitions to level up the country, reduce carbon emissions from transport, and support our long-term economic recovery from the pandemic.”
“Councils are working hard to keep our roads safe and resilient, repairing potholes as quickly as they can. However, it would already take £10 billion and more than a decade to clear the current local roads repair backlog, with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent cancellation of key planned works risking extending this backlog further.”
“With long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance in the Spending Review, councils can embark on the widespread improvement of our roads that is desperately needed, to the benefit of all road users up and down the country, including cyclists.”
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, commented: “Arguably the local road network is the largest and most important asset councils own, yet the lack of investment over numerous years puts drivers at risk of damaging their vehicle, but those on two wheels at much greater personal danger.”
“Emergency road-repair funds of recent years have been targeted at main roads rather than residential and rural ones. These are the ones that vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, use the most. Pandemic lockdowns and cars parked outside homes got in the way of resurfacing schedules, but now it’s time to catch up.”
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The lack of investment over numerous years puts drivers at risk of damaging their vehicle