Drivers are set to benefit from a record £6 billion investment in fixing potholes across England from 2015 to 2021. Following several cold winters, many English roads have been crumbling away, which has been exacerbated by cuts to road maintenance budgets.
However, the government claims that new funding will allow local authorities to keep their roads in much better condition by being able to carry out proper repairs. According to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, the £6 billion allocated should be enough to repair approximately 18 million potholes across the country.
£4.7 billion of the total will be given to 115 English councils, while an additional £575 million will be up for grabs to help local authorities keep bridges, junctions and street lights in good condition. The government will also make a further £578 million available to those councils that manage to carry out repairs most cost-effectively.
It is vital we have good-quality roads. This £6 billion funding will put an end to short-term fixes and will mean we have committed £10 billion between 2010 and 2021.
The transport secretary is quoted in The Courier as saying: “Roads play a significant part in everyday life. Poorly-maintained local roads, blighted by potholes, are a menace to all road users, particularly during the festive period.
"It is vital we have good-quality roads. This £6 billion funding will put an end to short-term fixes and will mean we have committed £10 billion between 2010 and 2021."
However, some have argued that the £6 billion figure is small change compared with the cost of properly repairing all of England’s roads. RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “Recent estimates by the Asphalt Industry Alliance suggest a one-off investment of £12 billion is needed in England to deal with the backlog in road maintenance."