William Eichler 19 March 2024

ALARM: Pothole-riddled roads need £16bn investment

ALARM: Pothole-riddled roads need £16bn investment image
Image: O de R / Shutterstock.com.

The condition of the local road network in England and Wales has continued to decline despite councils spending £143.5m filling in two million potholes this financial year.

The latest ALARM survey, which is carried out annually by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), has found that less than half (47%) of all local roads are reported to be in good structural condition.

The AIA estimates that the remaining 53% have less than 15 years’ structural life left if appropriate measures are not taken to ensure they are well maintained.

Local authorities increased the number of road repairs undertaken in the 2023/24 financial year, spending £143.5m fixing two million potholes.

However, the AIA estimates that £16.3bn is needed to tackle the backlog of carriageway repairs and bring the network up to a standard where it can be efficiently maintained.

'Local authorities have a bit more money to spend this year but the impact of rising costs due to inflation means they have actually been able to do less with it,' said AIA chair Rick Green.

'Couple this with the effects of the extreme weather we are increasingly facing, and the result is that the rate at which local roads are suffering is accelerating towards breaking point.'

Check out AIA chair Rick Green's feature: The great pothole repair failure

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