Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Road repair funding disparity revealed

  • Comment

An enormous disparity in funding allocated to councils to repair roads has been revealed in the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s (AIA) Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey.

While some councils receive just £3,000 per mile to maintain their road network, others are able to invest as much as £118,000 per mile.

The report does not name councils specifically, but does reveal the council which has the lowest budget for road maintenance is in Wales (£3,000 per mile), while the council with the biggest funding pot is in the North West of England (£118,000 per mile).

The report said there were signs that an increase in local authority highway maintenance budgets is stemming the decline in the condition of the local road network, as for the second consecutive year, councils’ highway maintenance budgets have increased by almost 20%, including the £420m additional funding allocated in last year’s budget. 

The average highway maintenance budget was £24.5m per council in England and Wales - £31.5m in England and £7.8m in Wales. 

The report also found “early signs” that the extra money is halting further decline ”after years of underfunding”, but the one-time catch-up cost to fix the network continues to rise. 

REGION LOWEST ROAD MAINTENANCE FUNDING (PER MILE) HIGHEST ROAD MAINTENANCE FUNDING (PER MILE)

East

£9,700

£64,200

East Midlands

£8,500

£15,500

London

£8,000

£75,000

North East

£18,800

£28,700

North West

£8,000

£118,000

South East

£13,500

£89,000

West Midlands

£6,500

£43,000

Wales

£3,000

£22,000

Yorks & Humberside

£12,000

£30,000

Rick Green, chairman of the AIA, said that despite “glimmers of hope”, there is still a big discrepancy between the haves and have nots.

”Some local authorities received the equivalent of more than £90,000 per mile of their individual networks, while a third continue to struggle with reduced budgets, with several having less than £9,000 per mile to maintain their local roads,” he said.

“It is encouraging that those in control of the purse strings seem to have recognised the value that additional expenditure on roads can deliver. But it’s clear from the 29% increase in the number of potholes filled in England and London, that much of this has been used for patch and mend.”

Last year the AIA set out that £1.5 billion additional funding was needed for local roads each year for the next 10 years to allow them to be brought up to a condition ”from which they can be managed in a cost-effective way”. The organisation says it stands by this call.

The Local Government Association claims that councils are having to spend more on road repairs in order to fix a pothole every 17 seconds.

It calls on the government to reinvest 2 pence per litre of existing fuel duty into local road maintenance, in order to provide £1bn a year for councils to spend on road repairs and improvements.

Cllr Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s Transport spokesman, said: “Councils share the frustration of motorists about the state of our local roads and, as this survey shows, fixing our roads is a priority for them.

“Extra one-off funding announced in the Budget will help councils continue to try and improve roads this year, but the Spending Review needs to provide councils with long-term and consistent funding to invest in the resurfacing projects which our road network desperately needs over the next decade.” 

 

 

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.