The Government is to give a further £100m funding to councils to repair potholes and other severe weather damage, the Transport Secretary has announced.Chris Grayling said the funds would repair almost two million potholes as well as help protect the roads from any future severe weather.
Mr Grayling commented: “We have seen an unusually prolonged spell of freezing weather which has caused damage to our local roads. We are giving councils even more funding to help repair their roads so all road users can enjoy their journeys without having to dodge potholes.”
The Government has also awarded more than £900,000 to aid the developments of connected vehicle initiatives to help spot potholes. A total of eight councils will get a share of the funding, led by Blackpool Council, which has been given £100,000 to lead on the scheme.
The announcement of the new pothole repair funding follows last week’s publication of the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey for 2018, which found that it would now take 14 years to get local roads back into a reasonable steady state, provided adequate funds and resources were available.
Commenting on the Transport Secretary’s announcement, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) questioned the level of funding as it highlighted that it is insufficient to repair all of the country’s damaged roads.
“The funding announced today will repair two million of the worst potholes nationwide,” said Christopher Snelling, head of UK policy at FTA, “but this is really a drop in the ocean when you consider the parlous state of the country’s roads, which have been harmed by years of chronic under-investment. As a country, we rely on goods arriving quickly and efficiently but this is becoming increasingly impossible when a lack of clear infrastructure investment is hindering their movement.
“As an association, FTA is receiving increasing numbers of reports from its members of damage caused to vehicles by using the nation’s crumbling roads, and these costs will ultimately drive up prices for our manufacturing and retail sectors.
“At a time when the nation needs to be as competitive as possible, with Brexit looming, surely those responsible for keeping the country trading should be supported in their efforts by a fully functioning, well maintained, safe road network?”