Councils Spending Billions On Britain’s Roads, But Complaints Continue

Tue 20th Aug 2019

Local councils in England spent almost £2bn on repairing the nation’s roads in the past two years, but according to new data the complaints from the public continue.

New data shows that local authorities spent £989,866,134 on repairs in the period between 2018 and 2019 and a similar figure, £820,573,877 the year before. 

The total figure on repairs was £1.77bn, which is just 0.9% of the combined budget for local authorities of £190.4bn.

The data, which has been gathered by the Federation of Small Businesses shows big disparities in the levels of spend across different authorities, with councils in Yorkshire and Humber spending £239m more than councils in the north east.

Despite these huge spends, and more funds promised by central government, it appears that the state of the roads network shows no signs of improvement with many councils paying out record levels of compensation.

Councils in England received a total of 699.535 pothole complaints in 2018/19, up from 616.557 the previous, which works out at a complaint every 49 seconds.

Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: “Poorly looked-after roads peppered with holes and cracks not only hamper their ability to do business, but lead to damaged vehicles, which are often vital assets to small firms working without large capital reserves.

“These figures show just how widespread the issue is and it’s clear that the Government and local authorities need to sit up and take notice. Measures like more funding for local authorities and improving the coordination between authorities and utility companies, will go some way in helping ease the burden of this ever-growing issue.”