Commenting on the findings of the latest annual ALARM report from the Asphalt Industry Association, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said:
“This latest report clearly highlights that the shortfall between what councils need to fix the roads, and the cash they actually have at their disposal, is as enormous as ever.
“It’s time for some fresh thinking when it comes to finally getting on top of Britain’s pothole problem. Short term funding and creating pots by which local authorities can bid for cash doesn’t appear to be addressing the root cause of the problem. Instead, the Government should be looking at how it can guarantee councils the certainty of reliable long-term funding so that they can finally bring every road up to a standard road users think is acceptable.
“In just two years’ time, motorways and major roads will enjoy ring-fenced funding from Vehicle Excise Duty receipts. If just a fraction of existing fuel duty revenue was ring-fenced specifically for local roads, over just a few years enough could be raised to allow councils to make proper, lasting repairs that are fit for the 21st century. As things stand, all road users are faced with the prospect of road surfaces falling into an even worse state making for increasingly uncomfortable, expensive and, in some cases, downright dangerous journeys.
“The recent bad weather will only have made matters worse. Before the cold snap, the condition of many local roads was on a knife edge and we now expect a number of these to deteriorate still further as we move into the Spring.”