Bill To Fix UK’s Potholes Rises Beyond £12bn

Sat 26th Mar 2022

Britain’s pothole ridden road network will take nine years to clear says an industry report which suggests that the bill to repair the highways has ridden by a almost a quarter year-on-year.

The report from the Asphalt Industry Alliance says that the £12.64bn is required to fix the roads in England and Wales, which works out at £61,700 for every mile of local road, up from £10.24bn a year ago.

And while budgets for local authority highway maintenance have risen by four per cent in the last 12 months, the amount of money being spent on the roads has actually fallen. More worryingly, only five per cent of the road maintenance budget in England is actually spent on the roads, with the costs of sweeping, grass cutting, maintaining traffic lights and even street lighting all falling under the same budget.

The state of the nation’s roads is so bad that the report now estimates that one in five roads in England and Wales will need rebuilding due to their poor maintenance.

“The link between continued underinvestment and the ongoing structural decline and below par surface conditions of our local roads is clear,” said Asphalt Industry Alliance chairman Rick Green.

“The country's ambitions to encourage active travel, plus cutting waste and carbon emissions, will not be achieved with a short-term approach that can't deliver a first-rate local road network.

“Local authority highway teams have a legal responsibility to keep our roads safe, but do not have the funds to do so in a cost-effective, proactive way.”

Potholes have been in the news once again this month after rock star Rod Stewart took to Instragram to show himself fixing his local road which was so badly damaged that he could not drive his Ferrari down it.