£400m repair bill to fix Britain's pothole-ridden roads

£400 repair bill for Britain's roads
17 Jan, 2014 11:16am Chris Ebbs

Cost of winter storms adds to £10.5 billion pothole repair backlog

Local councils are calling on the Government for financial help to fix the UK's roads following the recent storms.

The current estimate for repairs is £400 million. This is on top of the £10.5 billion repair backlog that already exists.

The Local Government Association (LGA) wants the Department for Transport to set up a highways maintenance emergency fund that local councils can use for the fixes. 

• Pothole plague: one every mile in Great Britain

A similar fund was created following similar severe flooding in 2007 and was designed to help affected local authorities with capital funding for emergency works to their local roads network.

And the LGA is warning that vital investment in local growth and infrastructure projects could suffer if government does not step in to ease the cost of flood repairs.

Pothole repairs could take cash away from other projects

Councilor Mike Jones, Chair of the LGA’s Environment and Housing Board, said: “The severe weather has left behind a daunting trail of destruction for councils to clear-up and fix. We were already facing a £10.5 billion repair backlog to bring our highways up to scratch and the damage to our roads by this recent flooding will be considerable and costly.

And Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Without serious help from central government we are unlikely to make a serious dent in this work load. Unfortunately the wear and tear on our roads is only going to get worse even leaving aside extreme weather.

We already have the most heavily used network in Europe and traffic is set to grow because of population growth. Without adequate funding it is hard to see how the condition of roads is going to improve.”

The news comes as the United Kingdom fell from 24th to 28th for quality of roads, according to the World Economic Forum. That means it is now level with Namibia and has fallen below Cyprus and Chile in the league table.

What do you make of the road conditions where you are? Does the government need to do more to help with improvements? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

• Pothole plague: one every mile in Great Britain • Detroit Motor Show 2014 

Disqus - noscript

Absolute disgrace our roads are so bad, drivers are treated with no respect at all. We are becoming a third-world country.

impasable roads, extortionite fual prices, crazy train fairs does david camron want evryone to stop travelling?

The pothole budget seems to be based on the unlikely event that each winter is going to be both mild and dry.

This is one motoring issue that really makes my blood boil, even more than road tax and petrol prices. In my part of the country, every winter, large potholes appear as road surfaces literally break up - and I am referring to main 'A roads' here. Aside from the potential consequences of hitting a large hole there is also the issue of loose material from the broken surfaces lying on roads just ready for oncoming cars to kick up into your vehicle either causing bodywork or windscreen damage. Years of under-investment in the roads come to light with substandard 'patch-work' repairs. The council here (Stirling Council) are a joke with seemingly no interest in the road infrastructure they have responsibility for. Roads outside this council area seem better but are still very poor generally. As 'angrybob' says we are becoming a third world country, with a road infrastructure that is nothing short of a disgrace. Incidentally, this is one of the main reasons I would never purchase a brand new car with my own money!

£400 million may not be enough to repair roads in half the boroughs of London. The recent rain-storms have uprooted all the patchwork that was done last year.
The government must see the motorists as more than a cash cow and spend a decent portion of the money it makes from us under various taxes and fuel duties.

These problems are a simple case of forgetting the need to execute planned maintenance. In reality councils have been ignoring the state of the roads for so long in favour of their pet projects. If you don't do regular repairs in any walk of life...your teeth, your house paintwork, your fitness...whatever subject you choose, the final repairs are much greater in requirement when you finally tackle the repairs...Very often they then become emergency repairs and as we know, emergency repairs usually mean that something has failed, broken or become irreparable. Emergency repairs are always more costly and in some cases the cause of fatality...Councils bleating that its the recent bad weather that has caused these problems is so misleading as its been the continued lack of planned maintenance. Pot holes that started in the summer will be much worse by the end of the Winter, However, patched in the summer, they might not even develop any further in the Winter. I would also like to add that wherever the money comes from, central or local government, it still comes from our pockets. The mnotorist pays many billions into the coffers of government every year in the many forms of motorist taxes and it is not being spend on the areas where is being collected...misuse of funds and mismanagement of planned maintenance is the problem that needs to be addressed and NOW!

The Government can find £50billion (yes, BILLION!) to splash out on a new train to get you to Birmingham 30 minutes faster, yet are unable to allocate £400million to fix our "roads" which are starting to resemble a network of African bush trails. No wonder I see so many X5's and Range Rover's on our roads, people actually NEED them to traverse the terrain.

Do the utilities ever contribute to the costs of repairing our pock-marked roads? So many of the pot-holed and damaged areas on my local roads are in the neatly defined trenches and squares obviously quickly and cheaply patched by the uililty companies regular excavations.

For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links