|Yet another ‘Tipping Point’ to fund!|
2017 could be a tipping point year for potholes, warn councils – as a new analysis shows the repair bill could reach £14bn within two years.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England & Wales, says the overall repair figure has been steadily growing. According to statistics from the Asphalt Industry Alliance's (AIA), annual ALARM survey, the total has risen from £9.8bn in 2012 to £11.8bn last year. At this current rate, it is projected to rise to £14bn by around 2019.
£14bn is more than 3 times councils' entire annual revenue spending on highways & transport (£4.4bn) – covering issues like highways maintenance and the concessionary fares scheme for buses.
In a DfT press release (below); Councils across England found out their share of £1.2bn local roads funding for the 2017 to 2018 financial year. The funding to improve roads, cut congestion and improve journey times includes money from the new National Productivity Investment Fund, announced in the Autumn Statement and the Pothole Action Fund. It also includes £75m which councils can bid for to repair & maintain local infrastructure such as bridges, street lighting and rural roads.
In a further effort to reduce the number of potholes the DfT will begin a new innovative trial, in partnership with Thurrock and York Councils which could revolutionise the way potholes are identified & managed. A pothole-spotter system, mounted to refuse collection vehicles, comprising of high-definition cameras, integrated navigation system and intelligent software will be deployed to identify road surface problems before they become potholes.