Maintenance backlog hits £10bn

15/03/2012
Highways Reporters

Nearly £10bn needs to be spent to get the country’s roads back into decent condition as 1.7m potholes were filled across the UK last year.

The latest Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) Survey highlights an eleven-year backlog of maintenance work as bad weather and inadequate funding takes its toll.

Around £90m was spent on filling 1.7m potholes last year.

But the report said pothole filling is a short-term reactive form of maintenance that is at least 20 times more expensive than planned preventative maintenance which involves resurfacing a road at regular intervals.

The public is also getting fed-up with the poor state of roads with each local authority in England receiving an average of over 12,500 complaints last year.

Alan Mackenzie, Chairman of the Asphalt Industry Alliance said: “Severe winter weather would not, in itself, produce a plague of potholes on well maintained roads.

“These disastrous figures result from decades of underfunding and enforced short-term planning, frustrating the efforts of local authority highways engineers to carry out the preventative work which they know has needed to be done.

“One in five local authority roads has less than five years life. This is clearly unsustainable.”

The cost of winter weather damage has reached an estimated total of £1.4 billion over the last three years.

Emergency central government funding of £200 million in 2011 and £100 million in 2010 was made available to help cope with repairing that damage
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