The Asphalt Industry Alliance’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey published today (Wednesday 23 March) estimates the one-time cost to get roads in England and Wales back into reasonable condition is now £11.8 billion.
RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “These findings are disappointing, but unfortunately not surprising. While around £1bn a year has been allocated by central government for local roads in England between now and 2020, their condition appears to be getting worse rather than better.
“It’s time for the Government to recognise that local roads are a vital part of the transport infrastructure which should be brought into the scope of the Infrastructure Commission so that they are rightly treated as a long-term strategic asset.
“While the Government’s Road Investment Strategy is ensuring the future ‘fitness-for-purpose’ of the strategic road network in England there is a very real danger that local roads will suffer ongoing decline through insufficient investment and no long-term strategy to improve them. What use would it be having excellent motorways, major roads, railways, ports and airports if, when getting to or from them, you are faced with pothole-ridden, crumbling local roads where, of course, all journeys start and finish.
“The message to the Government has to be that local roads are just as important as rail services and the strategic road network, as their condition limits the effectiveness of the rest of the country’s transport infrastructure.”