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Poll backs fuel duty investment in road repairs

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More than eight in 10 people back a plan to reinvest existing fuel duty into local areas to repair roads, according to a new poll.

The LGA is calling on the government to inject a further £1bn a year on top of the current expenditure on roads maintenance by investing the equivalent of two pence per litre of existing fuel duty. It claims fuel duty revenue contributes more than £33bn each year to the Treasury, while the government spends just under £2bn a year on maintaining and improving roads.

A national survey, carried out by Populus Data Solutions for the LGA last month, found 83% of the 1,006 adults polled backed the LGA’s plan, which is part of its blueprint for the issues the next government should tackle during its first 100 days in power.

One in five respondents said they would be more likely to vote for a party that committed extra money to fixing roads in next year’s general election.

Peter Box (Lab), LGA transport spokesman, said: “Councils work hard to fix millions of potholes every year despite deep funding cuts and multi-million pound compensation costs. We want to do more but are trapped in a frustrating and endless cycle of only being able to patch up our deteriorating roads.

“Addressing our ever-worsening roads crisis has to be a national priority. Recent harsh winters and decades of underfunding by successive governments have created a national backlog of road repairs that would take £12bn and a decade for councils to fix.

“This will only get worse with the government’s own traffic projections predicting a potential increase in local traffic of more than 40% by 2040. Long-term and consistent investment is now desperately needed to allow councils to embark on widespread improvement of our roads.”

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