£250m Pothole Grant

by admin on March 23, 2016

Stats suggest that a pothole is repaired every 15 seconds here in the UK. Despite this however, councils across the country are fighting a losing battle when it comes to keeping up with the backlog of repairs. The Asphalt Industry Alliance has estimated the existing bill for repairs to be around £11.8bn, and also estimates it would take 14 years at the current rate to address all existing cases.

Last year, the Government announced a £250million pothole fund to aid councils fix over four million potholes by 2020/2021, with the first £50million to be distributed over the next 12 months.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I know how important well-maintained roads are to people across the country. Almost every journey starts and ends on a local road, so the government is giving councils £250 million specifically to tackle the blight of potholes in their area.”

Cllr Peter Box, Transport spokesman at the Local Government Association, said: “It is becoming increasingly urgent to address the roads crisis we face as a nation. Our roads are deteriorating fast and it would take almost £12billion and be close to 2030 before we could bring them up to scratch.

“Our roads crisis is only going to get worse unless we address it as a national priority. The Government’s own traffic projections predict a potential increase in local traffic of more than 40 per cent by 2040. Councils desperately need long-term and consistent funding to invest in the resurfacing projects which our road network desperately needs over the next decade.”

However, these plans and budgets have been criticised by many, and it is cyclists as well as drivers who are unhappy.

Cycling UK Policy Director, Roger Geffen MBE, said: “The Government has allocated £6bn over the next five years to maintain England’s trunk roads and motorways, amounting to 2% of England’s road network, yet they are only giving councils another £6bn to maintain the remaining 98% of the network over the same period.

“What that means is that 80% of the roads for long-distance traffic will be fully resurfaced, while the council-controlled local roads used by pedestrians and cyclists for local journeys are left to rot and crumble. This will inevitably mean more deaths and injuries to cyclists, with councils being forced to make utterly wasteful compensation payouts instead of being able to repair our local road networks properly.”

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