Repairs backlog time for English roads up by nearly third in decade to 14 years

The amount of time it would take to fix England's roads has soared by almost a third in the past decade, councils have warned.

Figures published by the Local Government Association (LGA) showed it would now take 14 years to clear the backlog of road repairs in England (excluding London), compared with 10.9 years in 2006.

The organisation, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, said almost two million potholes are fixed each year.

A report published earlier this year by the Asphalt Industry Alliance found that it would cost £11.8 billion to repair roads in England and Wales to a reasonable standard.

The LGA called on the Treasury to announce in next month's Autumn Statement that a further £1 billion a year will be injected into roads maintenance to help tackle potholes.

It claimed this could be achieved by investing just two pence per litre from existing fuel duty revenue.

Martin Tett, LGA transport spokesman, said: "It is becoming increasingly urgent to address the roads crisis we face as a nation.

"Our roads are deteriorating fast and it would take almost £12 billion, and it could be nearly 2030, before we could bring them up to scratch and clear the current roads repair backlog.

"Councils fixed a pothole every 15 seconds again last year despite significant budget reductions leaving them with less to spend on fixing our crumbling roads.

"Our roads crisis is only going to get worse unless we address it as a national priority as part of the Autumn Statement."

The Department for Transport has committed £6 billion for English councils to improve local roads over the current Parliament, in addition to a £50 million-a-year pothole action fund.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Ministers have already committed to ring-fencing income from Vehicle Excise Duty to spend on Britain's most important roads including motorways.

"But the additional 235,000 miles or so of local roads that fall under the control of town, city and shire halls are very much the poor relation.

"Councils recognise that if the pothole backlog is ever to be dented then a significant sum of cash is required.

"Specifically earmarking a slice of the £27 billion collected in fuel duty each year could go a long way towards doing that."