In England, local roads’ pothole repairs are at their lowest level in five years.

According to studies, the number of local roads in England that need to be resurfaced or treated to prevent potholes has decreased to its lowest point in five years.

According to the RAC motoring organization’s study of government data, local governments’ overall spending on life-extension road maintenance has decreased by approximately one-third.

In 2021–2022, only 1,123 miles of roads were surfaced, down from 1,588 miles in 2017–2018, while just 3,551 miles, down from 5,345 miles four years earlier, were preserved with surface treatment, which is, in the opinion of the road repair sector, the more cost-effective preventative strategy.

The RAC called on the government to do more to assist councils in maintaining roads, including ringfencing money, and stated that the numbers helped explain the decline in England’s roads, which have been widely described as being plagued with potholes this year with an estimated repair backlog of £12 billion.

It was discovered that 31% of the 153 road authorities polled completed no resurfacing, and 51% didn’t perform any surface dressing.

According to Simon Williams, the RAC’s head of strategy, these numbers confirm our worst suspicions about the general deterioration of the nation’s roads and portray an absolutely bleak image of road maintenance in England.

While the government has increased the amount of money available to local governments to repair potholes, the actual cause of potholes is the general slowdown in road construction.

It is quite evident that when it comes to bringing their roads up to a reasonable standard, municipalities in many regions are merely scratching the surface.

In order to stretch finances further, he advised local governments to adopt a more preventative strategy. He also urged the government to enhance financing for highways.

The Local Government Association (LGA) claimed that years of funding reductions, followed by a recent escalation in the cost of repairs, were to blame for the enormous backlog.

The worst backlog in local road repairs has ever existed, according to LGA Chair Shaun Davies, as a result of decades of cuts to central government funding for local road maintenance budgets. The cost of commodities like bitumen has increased as a result of recent harsh weather conditions and growing inflation.

According to him, the government should assist drivers by collaborating with communities to create a long-term, fully funded initiative to upgrade our roads.

In a report published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Better Roads, MPs also urged ministers to ringfence road funds and provide long-term settlements to councils.

The MPs said that since the pothole fund’s termination in 2021, the state of the roads had gotten worse. According to data from the asphalt industry mentioned in the research, only 50% of England’s local roads are currently rated as good, the lowest percentage since 2016.

According to a Department of Transport spokeswoman, local governments are responsible for maintaining their roadways. To assist them in doing so, we will invest more than £5 billion between 2020 and 2025, with an additional £200 million announced at the budget in March, to resurface roads across the nation.

Additionally, new regulations have been implemented to crack down on utility firms that leave potholes after performing street repairs.

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