Revealed: Local authority funding allocations over last five years

08/12/2014
Highways Reporters

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has produced a league table of the amount of money allocated by government to each local authority on road improvements over the last five years in England.

Greater Manchester came out top with a figure of £141 million for 2014/15.

This is a sharp rise in the amount allocated to road repairs in Greater Manchester in the past few years. In 2013/4 the amount was £58.3m and in 2012/13 it was £49m. Its 2014/15 allocation was 143% greater than the previous year, and since 2010/11 the percentage increase was 58.1%.

However, in overall percentage terms the local authority with the highest increased allocation was Stoke-on-Trent. With an allocation of £10.2m for 2014/15 compared to £4m in 2013/14, this was a 155% increase. Over the five-year period (since 2010/11) Stoke-on-Trent’s allocation had increased by 85.4%.

The top five authorities for percentage increase between 2014/15 and the previous 12 months were: Stoke-on-Trent (155%), Greater Manchester (143%), Windsor and Maidenhead (121.9%), Southend-on-Sea (109.4%) and Norfolk (100%).

Their one year figures also reflected largely their increased allocation over the previous five years (2014/5 allocation compared to 2010/11 allocation), which were for these authorities as follows: Stoke-on-Trent (85.4%), Greater Manchester (58.1%), Windsor and Maidenhead (102.9%), Southend-on-Sea (81.1%) and Norfolk (89.4%).

The top five local authorities for an increase in allocation over the five year period 2010/11 to 2014/15 were Lancashire, from £32.2m to £96m (198.1% increase); Wokingham, from £3.1m to £7.9m (154.8% increase), North East Lincolnshire from £3m to £7.m (£153.3% increase), Milton Keynes, from £5.7m to £12.3m (115.8% increase) and Cornwall, from £25m to £50.6m (102.4% increase).

Conversely the local authorities with the biggest reductions in allocated funding for road repairs for 2014/5 compared to the previous 12 months were Portsmouth (down by 83.7%), Halton (down by 73.5%), Luton (down by 61.6%), Bedford (down by 40.9%) and East Sussex (down by 37.9%).

However, over the five year period 2014/15 compared to 2010/11, the local authorities with the biggest reduction on overall allocation were Poole (down 67.9%), Derby (down 55.9%), Dorset (down 42.2%), Kent (down 41.6%) and Peterborough (down 31.4%).

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “We know that in each case there are different circumstances as to why a local authority might have a reduced or increased allocation, but it is important to release that the road system is the lifeblood of any local authority.

“The road network is responsible for the survival and prosperity of the local economy and the jobs of people. It should be treated with the investment it deserves, for now and the future. The variation in figures brings into focus the issue of greater consistency in funding, which might help in long term planning. The government must keep up funding until the roads maintenance backlog has gone.”

The figures came about through a question asked in Parliament by David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds to Robert Goodwill MP, Roads Minister at the Department for Transport. Mr Ruffley asked how much funding the DfT has allocated to each local authority in England and Wales for road improvements in each year since 2010.

Mr Goodwill said with road improvements in Wales being a devolved matter, those figures were an issue for the Welsh government.
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