Nearly £5bn spent on ineffective pothole repairs has been "wasted", according to a new report published by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA).
Following last year's floods, the Government pumped in emergency funding which helped to drive a 33% increase in pothole repairs, however the AIA has said a further £12.6bn is needed to restore local road networks "to a reasonable condition". The report also found that the estimated amount of time required to clear the repair backlog has increased by a year to 13 years.
“The Government's emergency funding for pothole and flood repair following last year's wet winter has clearly contributed to the trends reported in this year's survey," said Alan Mackenzie, chairman of the AIA.
“Essentially, the money spent on filling the 2.7 million potholes reported is wasted - it is inefficient and short term in its effectiveness.
“So, while we understand that the Department for Transport is promoting permanent repairs, the point remains that money would be better spent preventing potholes forming in the first place."
In January we published a blog by our Legal Director Jonathan White detailing the cost to the British public of our crumbling roads. In it we revealed that, according to council data obtained by the breakdown cover provider Britannia Rescue, there were 764 square km of potholes in the UK - that's an area more than twice as wide as the impact crater left by the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Despite councils fixing more potholes last year than ever before - equating to one being filled in every 15 seconds - the Local Government Association also feels that much more needs to be done.
"”It is hugely frustrating yet unsurprising that, despite our best efforts, we have not been able to make a dent in the £12 billion roads repair backlog," said Peter Box, transport spokesman at the LGA.
“Every mile of motorways and trunk roads will receive £1.4 million funding over the next six years compared with £31,000 per mile for local roads.
"Councils need billions, not millions, to bring our roads up to scratch."