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Roads at ‘breaking point’ as pothole repairs hit eight-year high

Roads in England and Wales are at “breaking point” with pothole repairs at an eight-year high, according to a new report.

The annual Alarm survey by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) found that local authorities expect to fix two million potholes in the current financial year.

That is up 43% compared with 1.4 million during the previous 12 months.

And it is the highest annual total since 2015-16 when 2.2 million potholes were filled in.

The survey found that average highway maintenance budgets increased by 2.3% in the 2023-24 financial year compared with the previous 12 months.

However, AIA chairman Rick Green said: “Local authorities have a bit more money to spend this year but the impact of rising costs due to inflation means they have actually been able to do less with it.

“Couple this with the effects of the extreme weather we are increasingly facing, and the result is that the rate at which local roads are suffering is accelerating towards breaking point.”

Meanwhile, the amount needed to fix the backlog of local road repairs has reached a record £16.3bn, up 16% from £14bn a year ago.

In October 2023, the government announced it would provide £8.3bn of extra funding over 11 years to fix potholes in England.

This was part of the Network North strategy to use money saved by scrapping the planned extension of HS2 north of Birmingham.

Read more:
Pothole breakdowns hit record high, says RAC
Anger at pothole-plagued local roads reaches new high

UK spending least of 13 countries on pothole repairs

Local Government Association transport spokesman Darren Rodwell said: “This report reveals in stark terms the huge challenge facing councils in maintaining the local roads network, which nearly everyone relies on.

“The backlog of repairs now stands at almost double the extra amount that government has promised over the next 11 years.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said its funding would be enough to “resurface over 5,000 miles of roads across the country”.

Sky News Source