“The shortfall and the backlog continue to rise,” Asphalt Industry Alliance CEO Rick Green tells this week’s Highways Voices podcast, as he reviews the 2022 ALARM survey. “Hard working local authority engineers are having to make difficult choices. They’ve got a statutory obligation to keep local roads safe, but they haven’t got enough money to do it with.”
This year’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance research, known as the ALARM survey has found that the cost of the backlog of carriageway repairs to fix local roads in England and Wales has reached £12.64 billion, compounded by increased costs caused by rising inflation. This is up from £10.24 billion last year, and despite an increase in average highway maintenance budgets of four per cent, the proportion being invested in the carriageway itself is down and the reported backlog of carriageway repairs has increased by almost a quarter on last year’s figure to £61,700 for every mile of local road in England and Wales.
“It’s difficult to get local authority highway funding to the top of the agenda,” Mr Green tells Highways News co-owner Adrian Tatum. “But we continue to try and continue to press our case and point out that local modes are so important, every journey starts or ends on a local mode, and they’re falling to bits.”
In the podcast you’ll hear the challenges faced by Local Authorities and how new techniques and technologies may not be getting the cut-through because of funding challenges. “I suppose what we’re trying to do is shine a light on it as best we possibly can,” Mr Green concludes.
In the podcast you’ll also hear news from our partners including about the winner of the ITS (UK) Apprentice Essay competition, a new Chair for ADEPT’s Transport and Connectivity Board, LCRIG’s meeting with the Department for Transport and fully-funded places available at the Transport Technology Forum Annual Conference in Liverpool this May. Plus, of course, who wins this week’s “Adrian’s Accolade” and a summary of some of the many stories on the Highways News website.