11 March 2020

Implications for local roads of March budget

“Over £1 billion has been wasted chasing and filling potholes on local roads over the last decade[1]. What’s needed is sustained investment in effective road maintenance to improve the condition of our local roads and help prevent potholes forming in the first place.

“The £2.5 billion extra funding over five years announced by the Chancellor today will certainly be welcomed by hard-pressed local authorities dealing with reduced highway maintenance budgets, the effects of extreme weather events such as the recent storms and an ageing network.

“However, £500 million extra a year divided across English local authorities is still a fraction of the amount needed to deal with decades of underfunding, which have led to deteriorating conditions and a rising one-time catch up cost[2] to fix the problem.

“It’s a positive move that the new Government has recognised the need to allocate much-needed additional funding to our vital local road network. It is certainly a large step in the right direction and we look forward to hearing more detail from the Secretary of State for Transport.

“We believe that what’s needed is an investment of £1.5 billion extra per year, for 10 years, to bring local road conditions up to a level from which they can be maintained cost effectively to ensure a more resilient network going forward.”


Rick Green, Chair, Asphalt Industry Alliance.

[1] Based on findings of ALARM surveys 2010-2019
[2] Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey 2019 reports that the estimated one-time catch-up cost to get roads back into a steady state, from which they can be maintained cost-effectively going forward in line with asset management principles, is £9.31 billion.

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