Road fix costs rise substantially, LGA warns

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that the time it would to fix the nation’s roads has risen by a third in a decade.

The LGA said it would now take around 14 years just to clear the backlog of road repairs, an increase from the 10.9 year estimate in 2006.

Official figures indicate that councils fix around two million potholes annually, around 12,000 for each local authority.

According to the latest figures from the Asphalt Industry Alliance's (AIA) ALARM survey, it would cost almost £12 billion

The LGA is calling in its Autumn Statement submission for the government to inject a further £1 billion a year into roads maintenance. This could be achieved by investing just 2p per litre of existing fuel duty. It stressed this should not be paid for by increasing fuel duty rates.

The extra funding would help tackle the damage done to roads by recent harsh winters and general underfunding which the LGA says has seen ‘the national backlog of road repairs spiral’.

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA Transport spokesman, said: "It is becoming increasingly urgent to address the roads crisis we face as a nation. Our roads are deteriorating fast and it would take almost £12 billion, and it could be nearly 2030, before we could bring them up to scratch and clear the current roads repair backlog.

"Councils fixed a pothole every 15 seconds again last year despite significant budget reductions leaving them with less to spend on fixing our crumbling roads. Local authorities are proving remarkably efficient in how they use this diminishing funding pot but they remain trapped in a frustrating cycle that will only ever leave them able to patch up our deteriorating roads.

"Councils share the frustration of motorists having to pay to drive on roads that are often inadequate. Our previous polling has shown that 83 per cent of the population would support a small amount of the existing billions they pay the Treasury each year in fuel duty being reinvested to help councils bring our roads up to scratch.

"Our roads crisis is only going to get worse unless we address it as a national priority as part of the Autumn Statement. The government's own traffic projections predict a potential increase in local traffic of up to 55 per cent by 2040."