DfT warns councils over resurfacing cash plans

10/04/2024
Chris Ames

One in seven highway authorities in England have failed to publish resurfacing plans by the Government's deadline.

The plans, which were due to be published by 15 March, are supposed to set out how eligible councils will spend £300m of redirected HS2 cash on road repairs.

The Department for Transport said that as a condition of this funding local authorities are required to publish a two-year plan detailing exactly which local roads will benefit.

It added that 102 of the 119 authorities that received funding have responded to its survey ‘meaning local people can now check their local council’s websites and scrutinise their plans for themselves’.

The All Roads Lead podcast speaks to Rick Green of the Asphalt Industry Alliance and Malcolm Simms of the Mineral Products Association about this year's ALARM survey results.

It said it ‘has already been clear with those local authorities that have failed to publish reports that they could see the withdrawal of future funding to resurface roads’.

However, doubts have arisen as to whether the Government will provide a further £8bn ‘uplift’ from 2025 as it has not published the core funding amounts to which this will be additional.

In fact, even with what is said to be an extra £150m for the current (2024-25) financial year, councils will see a cut in funding because of the loss of a one-off £200m Pothole Fund cash boost last year.

Transport secretary Mark Harper said: ‘We’re making sure local people can hold their local authority to account and see for themselves how the investment will be spent to improve local roads for years to come.’

Rick Green, chair of the Asphalt Industry Alliance, described the cash as ‘a positive step, demonstrating the Government recognises that maintaining local roads is about more than filling in potholes’.

He said: ‘We have supported the need for transparency of funding allocations and the requirement for local authorities to report on the local roads to benefit will hopefully ensure the money is not diverted.

‘But, as the Government itself says, this additional funding is only enough to resurface 5,000 miles of local roads over 11 years, while our 2024 ALARM survey report highlights that there are already 31,000 miles of local roads reported to have less than five years’ life remaining.’

The All Roads Lead podcast speaks to Rick Green of the Asphalt Industry Alliance and Malcolm Simms of the Mineral Products Association about this year's ALARM survey results.

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