Reports in the national media and by motoring organisations have suggested that an extra £200 million could be provided for local road maintenance in tomorrow’s Budget.
The Daily Mail reports the money represents around a 20% boost in funds to fix roads in towns, cities, and rural roads. The paper has a pothole campaign calling for more investment for the road network.
The funding will initially be released to councils in England in the coming weeks. This means that residential streets and country lanes will initially be targeted for upgrades, said the RAC.
But Highways News understands this is for ‘maintenance improvements for highway asset’
Mr Hunt told the Daily Mail: “Potholes cause misery for motorists. The Mail’s campaign has put the issue under the spotlight, and I agree it’s time for action.
“This cash will fix up to four million potholes, keeping the country moving and putting growth in the fast lane.’
Following this, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: ‘Potholes are a blight on Britain’s roads. This latest round of funding shows we are committed to supporting all road users – from motorists to cyclists and bus passengers – and making journeys smoother and safer for all.”
Department for Transport (DfT) data has revealed that almost half of smaller residential roads need resurfacing or having potholes filled in. Furthermore, up to a quarter of B and C roads are in need of updating.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “While welcome, another £200m is unlikely to make a big difference to the overall quality of our dilapidated local roads.
“We need to significantly increase funding for local road maintenance and improvement so councils can resurface roads properly rather than patching them up and hoping for the best.
“Last year the Government spent £1.125bn on local roads in England which is in stark contrast to the £7bn that went into major roads from car tax, despite local roads covering so many more miles.”
A spokesman for the Local Government Association, told the Daily Mail: “We look forward to seeing the details of how this money will be allocated. Despite the best efforts of councils, which repair a pothole every 19 seconds, our local roads repair backlog is rising and would take more than £12billion and nine years to clear.”