0800 060 8698 info@glenigan.com

Request a Call

We encourage you to read our privacy and cookies policy.

Estimated 14 years to fix UK pothole problems

With the time to solve the UK’s potholes problem now estimated at 14 years, pressure is growing to increase local authorities’ highways budgets.

That was the time claimed in the latest Load Authority Road Maintenance Survey from the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), which identified 24,400 miles of road in need of ‘essential maintenance’.

AIA chairman Rick Green said: “Although local authorities report an increase in average highway maintenance budgets this year, looking back over the last decade they have barely kept in line with inflation. This is reflected in road condition, with one in five of our local roads now classed as structurally poor – with less than five years’ life remaining – compared with one in six reported last year.

“Local roads are a vital asset, worth in the region of £400 billion, and they support all aspects of our daily work and home lives. But funding for their adequate maintenance has fallen short for so many years that further deterioration is inevitable.”

After the AIA survey came out, further research from a cycling charity showed that local authorities had paid out £43 million in compensation from pothole-related claims.

Sam Jones, senior campaigns officer at Cycling UK, said: “The Government should concentrate on fixing the roads we have first before building new ones. Councils need provide enough funding to adopt long-term plans for roads maintenance, rather than pursuing a policy of patching up streets only as they become dangerous.”

Cycling UK’s figure was based on Freedom of Information inquiries made to 212 UK highway authorities with 156 replying.

The £43.3 million figure was equivalent to 17% of the Government’s five-year £250 million Pothole Action Fund, which was announced in 2015.

Before Christmas, the Department for Transport had announced an extra £46 million in funding for the problem and after the Cycling UK research was published the DfT found an extra £100 million for its Pothole Action Fund.

Announcing this latest financial boost, transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “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 DfT claims this money will fill two million potholes but while acknowledged as “appreciated” was dismissed by the AIA. “Any additional funding for road maintenance will be appreciated by hard-pressed local authorities’ highway teams,” said the Alliance in a statement. “However, the £100 million extra for the Pothole Action Fund for England … will not do much to tackle our failing roads – it’s just papering over the cracks.”

The government has made a number of announcements on roads but the emphasis has been on major projects.

In the autumn budget, the Chancellor announced a range of infrastructure pledges including the £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund to improve local transport connections, while the Road Investment Strategy commits the government to invest £15 billion between 2015-16 and 2020-21.

However, there is some skepticism over these announcements.

Glenigan’s economics director Allan Wilen said: “The strategy includes previous planned schemes including those already onsite and will not see any additional projects starting on site in the near term. Headline projects, such as the Stonehenge tunnel, are scheduled to start at the turn of the decade. “

As a result, Glenigan is forecasting a fall in underlying infrastructure starts for this year.

Not a Glenigan Customer?

Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.