DfT allocates £1.2bn of road funding to councils

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced how its £1.2 billion of road funding will be allocated between councils across England for the 2017 to 2018 financial year.

The funding will be aimed at helping councils improve roads, cut congestion and improve journey times. It consists of: £210 million from the National Productivity Investment Fund announced in the Autumn Statement; £801 million to be shared across local highway authorities in England, outside London, to help improve the condition of local roads; £70 million to be shared across local highway authorities in England, outside London, from the Pothole Action Fund which will help repair over 1.3 million potholes; £75 million from the Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund, inviting local highway authorities in England, outside London, to compete for funding to help repair and maintain local highway infrastructure, such as bridges, lighting and rural roads; and £75 million from the Highways Maintenance Incentive Element which invites to complete a self-assessment questionnaire in order to reward those who demonstrate they truly understand the value of their asset.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones commented: “Roads play a significant part in everyday life linking people with jobs and businesses with customers, which is why this government is investing record amounts improving and maintaining highways across the country to help motorists.

“The funding we have allocated today is focused on relieving congestion and providing important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future - helping to build an economy that works for everyone.”

Responding to the announcement on how £1.2 billion in roads funding to councils will be allocated, Cllr Martin Tett, transport spokesman at the Local Government Association, said: "Funding for roads maintenance is desperately needed and the money announced today will help councils tackle some of the growing repair backlog and congestion they face on local roads.

“We are pleased the government has accepted our call for this funding not to be allocated through an uncertain bidding process which we hope will lead to more certainty and less waste across all of government transport spending.

"It is only fair for taxpayers that spending decisions are made by councils who work much closer to and better understand the needs of the people and places they serve. However, substantially more funding is needed to bring our roads up to scratch. A £12 billion current backlog of road repairs would already take councils more than a decade to clear.

"Our roads crisis is only going to get worse unless we address it as a national priority. This means the government providing long-term and consistent funding to invest in the resurfacing projects which our road network desperately needs over the next decade."