The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) believe the investment set out in the Budget to repair and maintain local roads is not enough.
Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered billions of pounds in extra investment to improve the state of Britain’s roads; within this, a further £420 million has been made available immediately for local councils to tackle the problem of potholes.
Tasked with increasing awareness of the asphalt industry and promoting the use of asphalt to policy makers, the AIA is well placed to understand what is needed to improve the condition on Britain’s roads.
As it stands, despite allocating almost £30 billion to the problem – including the £420 million on potholes – the AIA’s Chairman, Rick Green, said the investment is “significantly less” than what is needed.
He said: “The additional funds announced will go some way towards tackling the annual shortfall local authorities have in their highway maintenance budgets, but remains significantly less than the £1.5 billion extra a year we believe is needed to bring local roads up to target conditions so that they can be maintained in a cost effective way in the future.”
In March, the Association produced its 23rd Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey (ALARM); the findings were striking, with local authorities having identified more than 24,000 miles of road that need essential maintenance in the next year.
The study found that there were major shortfalls in the budgets for local authorities, and even though the Chancellor has sought to end the pothole problem, there is concern that it is not enough.
Rick Green added: “Whilst the (Budget) announcement recognises the important role local roads play in supporting the economy and keeping communities connected, it is not enough to stop the ongoing decline of the local road network caused as a result of years of underfunding.
“Hopefully, it is a welcome first step towards sustained annual increases in local road maintenance funding.”