Latest News

Local authorities want to pay for pothole repairs with fuel duty

Tuesday 10 January 2017, By Autovolo

Local authorities want to pay for pothole repairs with fuel duty

Local authorities want to pay for pothole repairs with fuel duty

Some of the money taxpayers spend on fuel duty should be used to fix Britain’s ailing roads, says the organisation representing councils.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says that by investing just 2p a litre the UK’s roads could be brought back up to a better standard – though it is keen to impress that the government should not raise these funds by increasing duty.

LGA figures report that the overall pothole figure reached £11.8 billion last year. If this continues to rise at the current rate, it will be more than £14 billion by 2019.

If this figure was to be reached, the cost of repairing the nation’s council-maintained roads would be more than three times the entire highways budget available.

Despite councils fixing around two million potholes each year, the average pothole repair time has risen from 10.9 years in 2006 to 14 years in 2016. This means that authorities in England would have to spend around £69 million each if they were to repair all of their roads at once.

Councillor and LGA transport spokesman Martin Tett said: “This year could be a tipping point year regarding potholes and councils, which have experienced significant budget reductions and now face the looming prospect of a bill of £14 billion to bring the nation’s roads up to scratch.

“It is wrong and unfair that the government allocates almost 40 times more to maintaining national roads, which it controls, compared with local roads, which are overseen by councils. It is paramount this funding discrepancy is swiftly plugged.

“It is becoming increasingly urgent to address the roads crisis we face as a nation. Councils fixed a pothole every 15 seconds again last year despite significant budget reductions leaving them with less to spend on fixing our crumbling roads.

“Motorists pay billions to the Treasury each year in fuel duty when they fill up their car at the pumps only to then have to drive on roads that are decaying after decades of underfunding. They deserve roads fit for the 21st century.”