Laura Sharman 08 February 2022

Counties warn funding cuts put road maintenance plans at risk

Counties warn funding cuts put road maintenance plans at risk image
Image: ronstik / Shutterstock.com

County and rural councils will see their funding for road maintenance fall by nearly £500m by April this year, new analysis has warned.

The County Councils Network’s (CCN) found councils outside of England’s major cities and urban areas will receive £727m for roads maintenance in the next financial year, a reduction of £480m compared to two years ago.

It shows county authorities in the South West will face the biggest reduction in funding at £100.7m, while counties in the South East face a reduction of £87.1m.

CCN said this funding reduction is the equivalent of filling 11.5 million potholes and could force councils to cancel or scale back planned road maintenance works from April.

Cllr Martin Hill, County Councils Network devolution spokesperson said: 'A £479m drop in funding between 2021 and 2023 is hugely significant and is the equivalent of filling over 11 million potholes. With the Government making such a clear announcement that it was increasing pothole funding in 2019, we are left grappling with the public’s expectation that we are able to continue to invest in our road network.

'Unless this reduction is reversed, and the Government provides an urgent injection of resources to match the level it distributed in 2020/21, then we will have little choice but to cancel planned works. This would represent a major scaling back of our ambitions.'

The CCN is calling for the government to provide extra investment or reprioritise funding from other budgets, such as the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements.

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