Annual independent survey

Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey

Independent survey indicates local roads repair backlog tops £12 billion

Every year the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) commissions an independent survey of local authority highway departments in England (including London) and Wales.

The Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey – now in its 27th year – provides detailed insight into the funding and conditions of the local road network, based on information provided directly by those responsible for its maintenance. This year it received a record number of responses from 73% of local authorities in England and Wales, providing robust findings which are used by stakeholders across the sector for tracking, benchmarking and planning purposes.

ALARM 2022 reports that, despite a 4% increase in average highway maintenance budgets, less is being invested in the carriageway itself. As a result, the reported backlog of carriageways repairs has increased by almost a quarter to £12.64 billion – that’s £61,700 for every mile of local road in England and Wales – and will take nearly a decade to complete.

It highlights the scale of the worsening issue faced by highway engineers, who have to make difficult choices about keeping local roads open and safe versus improving overall conditions, with local authorities reporting they would have needed an extra £1 billion last year just to reach their own target conditions.