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Councils lose funding for nearly 10 million pothole repairs

The Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed councils have lost the funding to carry out over 9.5 million pothole repairs.

Driving over a pothole is something that has caused many a caravan owner to wince over the years, and it seems this could happen more frequently, after the Department for Transport cut the overall capital funding for local road maintenance by £400 million for 2021/22. This represents a 22 per cent budget reduction, and works out as the equivalent of 64,000 repairs per council area.

Now, the LGA is calling on the Government to restore the £400 million in the Spending Review, as well as allocate an additional £500 million to budgets for yearly road repairs. This would boost the annual total spent on local road maintenance to £1.8 billion.

Councillor David Renard, Transport spokesperson for the LGA, said: “The ability of councils to improve local transport connectivity and infrastructure, including upgrades to local bus, road and cycle infrastructure, is critical to government ambitions to level up the country, reduce carbon emissions from transport, and support our long-term economic recovery from the pandemic.”

“Councils are working hard to keep our roads safe and resilient, repairing potholes as quickly as they can. However, it would already take £10 billion and more than a decade to clear the current local roads repair backlog, with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent cancellation of key planned works risking extending this backlog further.”

“With long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance in the Spending Review, councils can embark on the widespread improvement of our roads that is desperately needed, to the benefit of all road users up and down the country, including cyclists.”

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This represents a 22 per cent budget reduction, and works out as the equivalent of 64,000 repairs per council area.