LGA questions Pothole Action Fund

The LGA has criticised government plans to repair nearly 1 million potholes over the next year, claiming that councils need ‘more than 230 times’ the money that has been allocated.

The government has announced how £50 million will be spent over the next twelve months to help fix around 943,000 potholes on local roads in this financial year.

The funding comes as part of the Pothole Action Fund, included in the 2016 Spring Budget, which has pledged £250 million to fill 4 million potholes by 2020/21.

Announcing the plans, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I know how important well-maintained roads are to people across the country. Almost every journey starts and ends on a local road, so the government is giving councils £250 million specifically to tackle the blight of potholes in their area.”

Councils will be given £50 million a year over the next five years to tackle the issue of potholes, but the LGA has said this is nowhere near enough.

Martin Tett, Local Government Association transport spokesman, said: "While £50 million is a step in the right direction, councils need more than 230 times that amount to cover the £11.8 billion cost to bring our roads up to scratch. The money announced today will help those councils receiving it to tackle potholes, but it would not even completely cover the cost of the £69 million faced by the average authority to bring its roads up to a reasonable condition.”

He added: "The condition of our roads is only going to get worse unless we address it as a national priority. The government's own traffic projections predict a potential increase in traffic of up to 55 per cent by 2040. Councils desperately need long-term and consistent funding to invest in the resurfacing projects which our road network desperately needs over the next decade."