Laura Sharman 26 March 2019

Report finds disparities in highways maintenance funding

Report finds disparities in highways maintenance funding image

An increase in local authority highways maintenance budgets is helping to stem the decline in local roads, a new report has found.

The annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey found that budgets have increased by nearly 20% for the second consecutive year.

However, the survey - published by the Asphalt Industry Alliance - found that years of underfunding have led to a decline in the local roads network, which requires nearly £10bn to bring to it back to a reasonable condition.

It also identified disparities of funding, ranging from less than £9,000 per mile of local authority road network to more than £90,000 per mile.

Rick Green, chairman of the AIA, said: ‘There are glimmers of hope but, while overall highway maintenance budgets are up, there is still a big discrepancy between the haves and have nots.

’Some local authorities received the equivalent of £90,000 per mile of their individual networks, while a third continue to struggle with reduced budgets, with several having less than £9,000 per mile to maintain their local roads.’

The survey also found there has been a 29% increase in the number of potholes filled in England and London, with one being filled every 17 seconds.

Cllr Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s Transport spokesman, said: ‘Extra one-off funding announced in the Budget will help councils continue to try and improve roads this year but the Spending Review needs to provide councils with long-term and consistent funding to invest in the resurfacing projects which our road network desperately needs over the next decade.’

In competition with the PWLB image

In competition with the PWLB

Christian Wall considers what alternative funding channels are available to local authorities beyond the Public Works Loan Board.
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Local Government News

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This issue also has a special highways and street lighting section exploring how councils can use lighting to embark on their smart city journey and using IoT technology to weather the storm.

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