Happy Pothole Day! RSTA calls local roads ‘a national disgrace’

08/03/2018

On the fourth annual National Pothole Day, a leading industry body has declared that potholes on local roads have gone from a local problem to ‘a national disgrace’.

The Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) said the situation resulted from decades of under-investment in maintaining the local road network.

Chief executive Howard Robinson said: ‘Decades of government under-funding have deprived local councils from having the resources to carry out comprehensive planned maintenance. Instead, we have inefficient patch-and-mend of a never-ending pothole plague where hard-pressed councils take one step forward and two steps back.

‘The cumulative impact of the potholes in your local area has significant national social and economic consequences that government would do well to take note of.’

The RSTA pointed to the 2017 Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey, produced by the Asphalt Industry Alliance, which estimated that it would cost more than £12bn and take 13 years to address the backlog of potholes in England and nine years in Wales.

Mr Robinson added: ‘It is not just the personal cost of potholes; it is also the cost to the national economy. At a time when post-Brexit the Government wants to show that Britain is open for business the very transport system that carries 97% of our traffic is well below the standard of our chief European competitors.

‘National Pothole Day puts the focus on a local problem that is fast becoming a national disgrace. After years of trying to ignore the extent of the problem the government needs to wake-up and provide real levels of assured funding for local road maintenance.’

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