“An "extreme state of disrepair" has been revealed by a report condemning the deteriorating local road network in the UK.”
The cost of a one-time catch-up to deal with this huge road maintenance backlog has been valued at a staggering £9.8 billion by the Asphalt Industry Alliance - that's roughly £71 million per authority in England and £33 million per London authority.
An upfront, five-year funding settlement is the only way cash-strapped local authorities will be able to address our pothole-ridden roads and plan ahead, says the Transport Committee who published the report.
Potholes are a headache for everyone and a severe risk for many, says the report. A rapid deterioration to the local road network undermines economic performance and results in direct costs to taxpayers, either through rising costs of deferred work or through a mend and make do approach that will only increase the cost in the long run. This also increases costs for damages to vehicles and causes injuries to passengers, in particular, those with existing medical conditions.
The safety of other road users, especially cyclists having to swerve on the roads, is also seriously compromised. Pedestrians and those who are older or vulnerable, can be left feeling anxious and isolated, discouraged to leave their own homes because its not worth the risk.
Tight funding priorities
However, local government revenue funding has fallen by about 25% since 2010. With no ring-fencing for local roads funding, authorities are struggling and have diverted the money to fill other gaps such as social care.
Low funds have certainty caused many councils to take short-term, reactive decisions on road maintenance, which is less effective than proactive maintenance and undermines local economic performance putting us in a worse situation for the future.
The Committee warns that extracting a five-year settlement from the Treasury should not be an excuse to cut funding. The exact nature of the settlement should be developed following consultation with local authorities to ensure the funding is designed in a way that will be most useful for them, says the report. It should encourage innovation, collaboration and good practice.
Lets Talk Finance Believes the matters are not being addressed appropriately and something needs to be done urgently as UK road conditions are only getting worse and traffic due to multiple road closures for ‘temporary fixes’ is creating havoc in peak times.
Drivers for the UK spend £4bn per year repairing thier vehicles
The effects the roads are having across the economy are astronomical. Drivers say they would prefer to add miles on thir journey just to avoid potholes on the way home.
It has been reported that drivers on average see 7 potholes on each trip they make. We believe this number is going to rapidly increase along with the cost of repairs on vehicles unless something is done to fix the problem.
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