Pothole campaigner says government must ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ over UK roads

Pothole campaigner says government must ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ over UK roads

Mr Pothole said funding was just 80 percent of the problem with a “culture change” and “better contracts” needed to solve the issues. The leading campaigner said little money was being spent on maintaining the roads with councils blowing budgets on poor repair work. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he also pushed councils to invest in better materials and new technology to battle the issues.  

He said: “Many of our roads are over 60 years old about one in five it’s been reported need resurfacing now. 

“The average lifespan of a wearing surface is about 20 years so it’s not rocket science to see what we road users know from our travels.

“There are some simple answers, however you have to change from the top down.

READ MORE: Councils ‘underfunded’ to deal with potholes

“Funding is only 80 percent of the problem, the rest is about culture change, better contracts, good quality training & supervision, better materials, use of new technology. [It’s] time for the government and authorities to wake and smell the coffee.”

Last month, the ALARM study from the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) revealed there was an £11billion backlog in road carriageway maintenance.

Mr Pothole claims this figure has increased by over £1billipon over the past year and failed to budget damage made in storms which battered the UK just months ago. 

He claims he would expect another couple of billion added to the report next year as road maintenance is increasingly delayed. 

Potholes have been found across the UK after storm  [INSIGHT]
Pothole numbers could increase by more than 100,000 [ANALYSIS]
Pothole damage has increased across the UK [COMMENT]

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Why has the carriageway back[log] increased by so much.

“Well, simply council’s highways budgets were down by 16 percent on average meaning our poorly maintained roads suffer.

“The budget shortfall just to stop more deterioration of the network is over £826.6 million each year.

“The local roads network is valued at over £400 billion as an asset which is essential to everyone’s lives and key to our economy. 

“Yet in reality governments and authorities pay lip service to its maintenance. We always here about it being a priority but words are cheap and actions are lacking.”

The government has promised to invest in road resurfacing programmes as part of their £2.5millon pothole fund revealed in the budget. 

The government says the fund will repair up to 50million potholes across the nation with the chancellor set to focus on roads in the northwest, south east and the east of England. 

Analysis from the AIA shows it costs an average of £52 to repair a pothole across England and Wales. 

However, with the AIA producing an £11billion backlog, the new fund is unlikely to fully repair roads across the nation. 

Mr Pothole told Express.co.uk: “From time to time announce billions for roads however this includes all new capital works and SMART motorways.

“Very little is being spent on maintaining our existing roads and a fraction of what’s needed to. 

“With councils filling in a Pothole every 21 seconds – many of which are poorly carried out – then it’s a never ending cycle of millions of pounds of taxpayers money. 

“Compensation claims are costing taxpayers nearly £23m a year which is the tip of the iceberg. 

“As from my knowledge only five percent of those that have experienced damage to vehicles get any money.”

Published at Thu, 30 Apr 2020 14:33:00 +0000