Transport Chiefs Call For Pothole Plan

Mon 1st Jul 2019

A UK Government transport committee has published a report which aims to help councils better deal with the growing problem of potholes on the nation’s roads.

The group of MPs has said that a lack of funding is leading to short-termism at local government level and this in turn is leading to poor decisions on local road repairs. The Transport Committee has called on the Department of Transport and the Treasury to consult with local authorities to best advise on how funds can assist in road maintenance.

“Local roads are the arteries of our villages, towns and cities, but most people won’t have to go further than the local shops to spot a pothole that poses a risk of injury or damage,” said Lillian Greenwood MP, chair of the Transport Committee.

“Local authorities are in the invidious position of having to rob Peter to pay Paul. Cash-strapped councils are raiding their highways and transport budgets to fund core services.”

She added: “Almost every journey begins and ends on local roads: the DfT must work with the public and local authorities to make them safe.”

The concern comes on the back of one of the most influential surveys revealing that potholes are at the forefront of the motoring nation’s minds when it comes to driving. The AA’s Populus survey revealed that 81 per cent of 20,086 drivers saw potholes on local roads as a problem.

“While potholes can be a very costly inconvenience for drivers, they can be tragically fatal for cyclists and motorcyclists. The only way councils will get on top of the conditions of local roads is with the help of a large scale and continuous funding project,” said the AA’s Jack Cousens.

“Currently, it would take a decade to get our local roads back to where they should be, so a fully funded five-year project would go a long way towards smoothing out our streets.”