'Snow tax' likely to mend Britain's potholes

Maya Driver

If you have driven anywhere in the last couple of months the chances are you have either become a victim of Britain's crumbling roads or have swerved dangerously to avoid the latest pothole. Ever since the heavy winter snowfall, crumbling tarmac and deep holes have been the bane of motorists' lives. And yet, when it comes to repairs it seems there is nobody to foot the bill but the taxpayer.

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So it looks increasingly likely that we can expect the introduction of a stealthy "snow tax" via our council tax bills this year.

According to The Telegraph, the number of potholes in Britain has increased by 60 per cent over the past two years. Of course, the winter weather does take its toll, with wet and freezing conditions splitting the tarmac. But the Asphalt Industry Alliance has estimated that the cost of repairs could be in the region of £10 billion and North Yorkshire County Council has already increased council tax by 2.94 per cent to help pay the bill.

It sounds fair enough, but Bill Hoult, the council's Lib-Dem leader, pointed out: "This amounts to a snow tax. Of course the snow has caused problems but the council has £15 million in reserves to deal with unforeseen emergencies like this."

A Local Government Association spokeswoman insisted: "Councils are doing their best to balance the books without passing costs on to residents but funding available is limited."

However, since the repair bill is more than £1 million a day, increased taxes look the most likely solution.

Do you believe that an increase in council tax is the only way to get Britain's roads back on track or is it years of neglect that has left the taxpayer to foot the bill?