Pothole funding insufficient, survey suggests

According to an AA survey, 39 per cent of drivers have had their vehicles damaged by potholes over the last two years.

The survey found that 39 per cent of members had suffered pothole damage, with 46 per cent of Scottish drivers claiming the road craters had caused harm to their vehicles. The AA has called on Chancellor George Osborne to set aside some ‘back to basics extra funding’ to permit local authorities to fix fractures in UK roads.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “Government special pothole crisis funds in recent years have been welcome but have only papered over the cracks on Britain’s roads. Autumn statement figures show that the financial year 2014/15 was estimated to have raised £27.2 billion from fuel duty, almost as much as business rates’ £27.3 billion and not far off council tax receipts of £27.9 billion.

“Yet, in 2013/14, there was a £273 million reduction in local authority expenditure on routine maintenance compared to the higher spending years in the last decade.”

Commenting on the results, the Local Government Association (LGA) argued that councils are fixing more potholes than ever before.

Councillor Peter Box, transport spokesman for the LGA, said: “The £12 billion backlog of road repairs would already take councils more than a decade to clear. Councils are doing their best to focus their limited resources on carrying out more cost-effective and longer-term improvements.

“Current funding levels, however, and the size of the backlog mean they can only keep pace with patching up our roads and filling potholes.”