Britain’s roads have been compared to “Swiss cheese” by road safety experts who are applauding a £200 million initiative to tackle the UK’s highways.
The Government has pledged the cash for highways maintenance, to develop new technologies that will improve highways resilience, and to introduce high-quality cycle parks.
Some £46 million of the overall pot has been earmarked by Jesse Norman, Minister for Roads, to tackle one million potholes outside of London.
Supporting the move, AA President Edmund King, says: “The additional £46m to fill potholes is a much-needed tonic and will help councils begin to get our Swiss cheese-like roads back to smooth highways again.”
The MP says this injection comes in addition to the £75 million Pothole Action Fund already granted to councils this year.
More than £6 billion has been put aside to help councils repair and maintain their roads.
Local authorities also have access to a £151 million local highways maintenance incentive fund that rewards efficiently-planned roadworks.
In addition to the several pots of funding, a £500,000 competition will also challenge authorities to introduce technology pilot schemes that will collect data on pothole locations and road conditions,
Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s transport spokesman, says any funding is positive, but calls these pots of cash a “drop in the ocean” when compared with what it would cost to repaid all road damage.
He said: “Councils face a £12 billion local roads repair bill, which would take more than a decade to clear.
“This announcement features £46m in new money, and the other £151m has been top-sliced from council budgets. If the government wants councils to be able to provide the local roads that our communities need and deserve, it needs to provide a long-term, fully funded plan to cover the cost of local road improvements, and not re-distribute money which has already been promised to councils in this way.”
Potholes can be caused by snow and ice. If you’re driving in wintry conditions, it could be useful to read our handy guide for motorists to stay safe in the cold weather.