Government pledges £6 billion to fix potholes
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
Potholes have been the bane of many motorists' lives in recent years, as our road network has been hit with several cold winters in a row. However, the government has pledged a record £6 billion of investment into improving the state of England's roads over the next six years.
This fund will give local authorities the means to properly fix potholes and improve the state of local roads from next year until 2021 after cold weather and severe floods have seen the condition of many of them deteriorate. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced today that this funding should be sufficient to fix around 18 million potholes around the country.
Of the £6 billion total £4.7 billion has been allocated to 115 English councils, with a further £575 million up for grabs for repairing and maintaining local road infrastructure, including street lights, bridges and junctions. An additional £578 million will be available to councils that deliver cost-effective improvements to the road network.
Mr McLoughlin is reported in The Courier as saying: "Roads play a significant part in everyday life. Poorly-maintained local roads, blighted by potholes, are a menace to all road users, particularly during the festive period as people travel to see family and friends.
"It is vital we have good-quality roads. This £6 billion funding will put an end to short-term fixes and will mean we have committed £10 billion between 2010 and 2021."
Despite the substantial amount of money pledged to the road system, the RAC's chief engineer David Bizley has raised doubts over whether this was in fact "new money". He also queried whether this was enough money to sufficiently address road issues: "We also question whether this really goes far enough. Recent estimates by the Asphalt Industry Alliance suggest a one-off investment of £12 billion is needed in England to deal with the backlog in road maintenance."