Councils say 3.6m extra cars causing more potholes

Road conditions are being made worse by the 3.6 million additional new cars being driven on Britain’s roads compared with a decade ago, councils have warned.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said that if the number of extra cars licensed in 2019, compared with 2009, were lined up bumper to bumper, they would cover more than 11,000 miles, which is equivalent to the length of Britain’s coastline.

It claimed this highlights the need for greater investment in the transport network.

Ahead of next week’s Budget, the LGA is calling on the Government to reinvest 2p per litre of existing fuel duty, worth about £1 billion per year, in looking after local roads.

This would help shift a maintenance backlog calculated at costing £9 billion and lasting 10 years.

Recent RAC figures suggested vehicle breakdowns caused by potholes increased by a fifth year-on-year during the last three months of 2019.

The LGA also wants an end to transport funding being divided into multiple cash pots.

It believes this system should be replaced by “stable, devolved infrastructure and public transport budgets”.

David Renard, the LGA’s transport spokesman, said: “The sheer volume of traffic on our roads has completely overtaken the amount councils are able to spend on local transport.

“Councils need long-term funding certainty and investment so they can create safe and attractive cycling and public transport networks, and deliver a more resilient roads network.

“With the UK hosting the UN Climate Change Conference later this year, next week’s Budget is an opportunity for the Government to demonstrate its commitment to tackling climate change and investment in reducing harmful emissions from transport, which is the single biggest contributor of carbon in the country.”

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