County councils in England have increased their spending on road maintenance and repair work.

Freedom of Information requests made by the Institute of Advanced Motorists found that councils are spending more money on capital projects, such as road rebuilding, rather than using funds on short-term temporary repairs.

Last year, the Asphalt Industry Alliance reported that the backlog of repairs topped £12bn worth, while an IAM survey suggested that 64% of participants cited general road maintenance as one of their biggest concerns.

The FoI request asked county councils how much they spent on fixing road surface defects, such as potholes, and how much they spent on capital projects to resurface roads between 2013 and 2015.

The IAM added that 17 out of 23 councils are spending more overall on resurfacing worn-out roads.

The top five county councils investing the most money into road repairs and resurfacing in 2014/15 are:

1.      Surrey – £44 million
2.      North Yorkshire – £43.9 million
3.      Cumbria – £33.5 million
4.      Devon – £32 million
5.      Lincolnshire – £30.2 million

In percentage terms, the following councils have increased their capital spending on resurfacing roads the most:

1.      Oxfordshire – 139% (from £4.6 million to £11 million)
2.      Cambridgeshire – 85% (from £10.5 million to £19.4 million)
3.      Norfolk – 45% (from £19 million to £27.6 million)
4.      Leicestershire – 43% (from £7.5 million to £10.7 million)
5.      West Sussex – 38% (from £19.5 million to £27 million)

“We are very pleased that our calls for greater investment in local roads appear to be having some effect,” said Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer. “With council tax increases this April, we very much hope councils will use some of the extra money in continued investment in their own vital local roads, the condition of which has a direct impact on road safety.”