MPs highlight need for five-year pothole repair funding plan

A five-year funding settlement is urgently needed to help councils in their battle against potholes.

That’s according to MPs on the transport select committee, which published a report today highlighting the problems that potholes cause – including vehicle damage and injury to cyclists and motorcyclists. It also shows the negative impact of potholes on local economies.

Since 2010, local government revenue has fallen by around a quarter, causing authorities to make short-term decisions about road maintenance rather than planning ahead.

The committee wants the Treasury to make a call on the amount of funding available to councils after consulting with local authorities to make sure the funding model works for them.

It also states that the Department for Transport should make it easier for members of the public to flag road problems while also being able to access real-time updates on the condition of a road.

Committee chairwoman Lilian Greenwood said: “Local roads are the arteries of our villages, towns and cities, but most people won’t have to go further than the local shops to spot a pothole that poses a risk of injury or damage.

“Local authorities are in the invidious position of having to rob Peter to pay Paul. Cash-strapped councils are raiding their highways and transport budgets to fund core services.”

In a release issued in May 2018, the AA estimated that potholes were costing drivers and their insurers at least £1 million per month in repairs. The motoring association said that around 4,200 pothole-related claims were made made between January and May 2018.