At the beginning of last year, we were excited to report on an innovative new material that had the potential to entirely solve the problem of potholes. Whilst we’re still waiting for the miracle material to become available, the Government have granted councils access to £100 million to help fix British roads.
Estimating that the funds could fix around seven million potholes, the additional money has been added to the existing £75m Pothole Action Fund and sits alongside £46million that is available for highways authorities. The new funds were announced by Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, just one week after a report was published that stated 12% of UK roads are in poor condition.
The report, put together by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), claimed that the cause of these poor road conditions can be put down to long-term underinvestment and ineffective government funding methods – with the recent cold weather not helping the situation. The report found that, in 2017, £7.3million was paid out to motorists as compensation for damage caused by potholes and poor road quality; that’s over £500,000 more than 2016.
In order to prevent the same happening this year, Autocar report that: “AIA figures show that 24,496 miles of roads are in need of repair in Britain over the next year. The total budget shortfall to repair pothole-filled roads currently totals an estimated £556m, equating to a shortfall of £3.3m for each authority.”
Despite a £6 billion fund being put forward by the Government to improve the UK’s roads, the AIA report found that it can be difficult for local authorities to initiate long-term fixes for their roads. Agreeing with the AIA, Nicholas Lye, RAC roads policy boss, commented that the report shows “short-term funding and creating pots by which local authorities can bid for cash doesn’t appear to be addressing the root cause of the problem”.
Hopefully we can rely on this additional money available to local councils to help improve road conditions across the country; allowing for not only more comfortable driving conditions but also safer roads and less money needing to be paid out for pothole related damage.
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