Department for Transport pledges £250m to Pothole Action Fund

Pothole roads

Motorists fed up with Britain's crumbling roads were offered some consolation recently, as the UK's Department for Transport announced its plans to fix Britain's crumbling road system and repair four million potholes by 2021 thanks to new funding.

Over 100 councils in England will receive a share of £50m to help remove around 943,000 potholes from local roads during this financial year.
The money has been made available as part of the £250m Pothole Action Fund included in last month's Budget, which aims to fix over four million potholes by 2020/21.

Current figures suggest that the UK's road network is plagued with more than one million potholes, each costing on average £53 to fix.

Some parties claim that the sum is no way near enough to tackle the issue. Cycling UK's Campaigns Coordinator, Sam Jones, told "The Asphalt Industry Alliance estimates we need £12billion to fix England and Wales' roads: 240 times more than the £50m a year made available in the Government's Pothole Action Fund. It's the equivalent of using a sticking plaster to fix a broken leg.

"Potholes can be a lethal danger to cyclists and other vulnerable road users. In 2014, the police decided that a 'poor or defective' road surface contributed to almost three times more crashes involving pedal cyclists than it did in those involving cars."

However, local highway authorities will also be able to apply for a percentage of a £578m road budget that'll be split up across the UK over the next five years to help with road maintenance and repairs.

The most efficient authorities will be allocated the most money, as an incentive to boost the productivity of highway repairs.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "I know how important well-maintained roads are to people across the country. Almost every journey starts and ends on a local road, so the government is giving councils £250m specifically to tackle the blight of potholes in their area.

"This is just one part of our unprecedented investment in local road maintenance over the next five years. We are giving a record £6 billion to local authorities in England that will improve journeys across the regions," he added.