Massive hole in road repair budgets
09 April 2010
Author: Sam Burnett
Following the Chancellor's £100m Budget pledge to tackle potholes, a new survey has revealed the massive shortfall in maintenance budgets.
The 15th Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey showed a 40% rise in the number of potholes in local authority roads and a shortfall of almost £1bn in maintenance budgets. It is estimated the backlog would take 11.5 years to clear at present funding levels.
Nine out of 10 local authorities surveyed said utility companies should be charged for costs incurred by the digging of trenches, which accounts for 13% of maintenance budgets.
The Asphalt Industry Alliance, which commissioned the survey, said that the increase in central funding was insufficient. "It is a drop in the ocean compared to the amount needed to stop the rot," said chairman Mike Linley. "Extreme winter weather would not cause so much damage if our roads were fit for purpose in the first place."
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