£348 million funding boost for local roads quality

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced £348 million of funding for local authorities over the next four years to help tackle issues on major local roads, from easing congestion to potholes.

Two sets of investment will be available for local authorities to bid for in an effort to tackle issues on major local roads, from easing congestion through to sorting out potholes. The first pot of investment, the Challenge Fund, will make £200 million available for council projects that will improve the quality of roads and surrounding infrastructure, predominantly pothole repairs.

The second set of funding, the Pinch Point Fund, will be available in 2021-23 and totals £150 million. It will go towards council projects designed to help ease congestion on some of their busiest roads.

Grayling said: “Local roads are the backbone of the transport network for drivers up and down the country, but we know that some aren’t up to the standard they need to be. Whether it’s congestion or quality, we need to empower local authorities to invest in these roads and make journeys safer and stress-free. That’s exactly what this funding will do – over 4 years we’re providing more than a third of a billion pounds to make sure local authorities have the cash they need to make this a reality.”

Martin Tett, Local Government Association’s Transport spokesman, said: “It is good that the Department for Transport is to invest much-needed funding into improving local roads. However, only long-term investment in local road maintenance can allow councils to deliver the widespread and sustainable improvement of our roads that is needed, to the benefit of all road users up and down the country.

“It is not right that the government spends 43 times more per mile on maintaining our national roads – which make up just 3 per cent of all roads – than on local roads, which are controlled by councils and make up 97 per cent of England’s road network.

“With councils losing 60p out of every £1 of central government funding since 2010, the new Prime Minister needs to use the forthcoming Spending Review to give councils the long-term funding they need to deliver well-maintained roads.”