£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