William Eichler 06 March 2019

Council chiefs welcome pothole consultation

Local government leaders have welcomed a Government consultation on the guarantee on utility firms’ roadworks, but warned it does not address the repairs backlog.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling today launched a consultation on increasing the guarantee on utility firms’ roadworks, so that if a pothole forms within five years, the company must return to bring the road surface back to normal.

Under the current rules, this guarantee only lasts for two years.

The consultation will also look at introducing new asphalt standards.

‘Potholes are the biggest enemy for road users and this government is looking at all options to keep our roads in the best condition,’ said Mr Grayling.

‘Road surfaces can be made worse by utility companies, so imposing higher standards on repairs will help keep roads pothole-free for longer.’

Cllr Martin Tett, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, described the announcement as ‘good news’ for motorists and cyclists.

‘Helping to ensure any shoddy road repairs will be the responsibility of contractors to put right at their expense and not passed on to the taxpayer, will save money from councils’ stretched budgets,’ he said.

‘Introducing new asphalt standards will also make roads less prone to potholes which councils are fixing every 21 seconds.’

However, Cllr Tett also warned that these measures do not address the £9.3bn backlog of road repairs.

‘The Government needs to address this in the forthcoming Spending Review,’ he said.

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