The government’s decision to release extra funding to fix potholes after recent severe weather has been described as ‘a drop in the ocean’ compared to the cost of tackling the UK’s ‘pothole plague’.
On Monday (25 March), Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, said that the £100 million cash injection would pay for around two million potholes to be filled.
‘We have seen an unusually prolonged spell of freezing weather which has caused damage to our local roads,’ said the MP for Epsom and Ewell. ‘We are giving councils even more funding to help repair their roads so all road users can enjoy their journeys without having to dodge potholes.’
However, the announcement has received a mixed response from local authorities, who are concerned that far more funding is needed to deal with the country’s scarred asphalt following the recent cold spells of weather that have left roads damaged.
According to the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, the total cost of fixing every pothole across the two nations would come to more than £9 billion.
Councillor Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s transport spokesman, said: ‘It is positive that the government has listened to councils and made more funding available to help repair local roads which have been affected by the recent severe winter weather. However, the funding announced today will provide just over one per cent of what is needed to tackle our current local roads repair backlog.’
The RAC agreed, with spokesman Nicholas Lyes saying: ‘While extra money is welcome, this is still a drop in the ocean when looking at the scale of what is required to fix our local roads.’