Estimated £10.65bn cost to repair 2 million potholes

Mark Austin Pointing To A Dangerous Pothole
A press release from the Asphalt Industry Alliance entitled “Over 2 Million Potholes Raise Road Repair Bill to Record Levels“, claims that the number of potholes in England and Wales alone has increased by 59%. The press release estimated that the cost of bringing our highways up to some decent level has gone up a billion pounds to a staggering £10.65bn.

As a result the press release said the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s Chairman Colin Loveday is called on the UK Government to invest now to prevent further damage and an ever increasing repair bill. The same press release stated that “Three years of severe winter weather have revealed the fragile condition of the local road network, with road surfaces around the country deteriorating visibly to a serious degree.” More worryingly it goes on to advise that “authorities continue to report an annual shortfall in the highway maintenance budget they receive from central government. This year it amounts to £895 million, an increase of 12 per cent on last year’s shortfall.

Asked to estimate the level of one-off investment needed to get their roads back into reasonable condition local authorities estimated that £10.65 billion (aggregated across England and Wales) would be required. This is an increase of £1.15 billion on the amount estimated last year. Under funding of highway maintenance programmes is believed by 90 per cent of local authorities to create a threat to road user safety.”

AIA Chairman, Colin Loveday, highlights the industry’s growing concern: â€ŔLocal authorities are doing what they
can, but reactive maintenance — such as simply filling potholes when they appear — is at least 20 times more
expensive than planned preventative maintenance.

â€ŔThe annual shortfall in budget has increased this year and spending review cuts translate to a potential loss of another £440 million over the next four years. The additional £200 million announced in February and March 2011 is welcome but if the government wants to save the country money it should be investing in local roads now to save a massive repair bill later on.”
Potholes are often a sign of more serious underlying problems, says Loveday: â€ŔAfter several years of wetter winters and serious summer flooding which undermines the integrity of the road’s structure, our local road network is at its most vulnerable.”

I for one agree that “We have to keep up the battle against this blight which damages cars and risks road safety, especially for those on two wheels.” Hopefully Buckinghamshire County Council Highways Agency will take note of these facts and lobby the Coalition Government for funds to fix our dangerous and ever more costly roads, as always it is us taxpayers that pay the price, I recently had to yet again replace a front tyre at my expense due to pothole damage. Whenever the local County Council and District Council Elections come round, I suggest us voters should all make permanent repairs to our High Wycombe District and Bucks Highways a main campaign priority as to who we end up voting for and why!

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