By Adam Rear

An investigation by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) has found that councils need to spend a whopping £2,740,000 A DAY for the next 10 years to rid the UK of its sub-par road surfaces.

According to council figures a pothole is fixed somewhere in the UK every 17 seconds. This is a result of a cash boost totalling £24.5 million, itself an increase of 20% over budgets from 2016-2017. However, RAC figures still show drivers are two-and-a-half times more likely to suffer a pothole-related breakdown now than in 2006.

The survey also revealed a big discrepancy in spending on road surfaces between councils. Some local authorities receiving highway maintenance funding of more than £90,000 per mile last year, while others had less than 10% of that.

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The report said: “The English local road network has been allowed to decay so much that it would take more than a decade to bring it up to a reasonable standard. This is a national scandal that shows a dereliction of duty by successive governments and individual local councils.

“The Government must act now to remedy this.”

Local Government Association transport spokesman Martin Tett said councils face “significant funding pressures” which have a detrimental impact on services such as roads maintenance.

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RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said not putting enough money into fixing the UK’s local roads is “a false economy”.

He continued: “In doing so, an unnecessary burden is being placed on councils.

“And then, when roads inevitably fail and need emergency attention, we all end up paying through taxes for short-term repairs that don’t sort out the problem in the long term.”

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A Government spokesman said: “We know potholes are a nuisance and a hazard for all road users, particularly for motorcyclists.

“To improve local roads we are providing councils with £6.6 billion between 2015 and 2020, which includes more than £700 million for extra maintenance.

“We are also investing in trials on new road materials and repair techniques as well as using technologies to help councils predict when roads will need repairs and prevent potholes.”

Tony Carter

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