The Local Government Association (LGA) which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales is calling for the government to inject a further £1 billion a year into roads maintenance.
According to statistics from an annual survey conducted by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), the total amount councils needed to repair roads rose from £9.8 billion in 2012 to £11.8 billion last year.
At its current growth rate, it is projected to rise to £14 billion by around 2019.
£14 billion is more than three times the entire annual revenue that the 370 councils have to spend on highways and transport (£4.4 billion), covering issues like highways maintenance.
Repair time on the rise
Even though councils fixed almost 2 million potholes collectively in the last 12 months, the survey report also showed pothole repair time had increased.
Rising from an estimated maintenance backlog of 10.9 years in 2006, the results for 2016 showed it would now take 14 years to clear the current pothole repair backlog.
If a local authority knows about a pothole but hasn’t repaired it, or hasn’t followed road maintenance guidelines, you may be able to claim compensation for any damage done to your vehicle resulting from the pothole.
Collect all the evidence you can if you hit a pothole, including making a note of exactly where the pothole is, and taking photos showing the depth of the pothole and any damage caused when you hit it.
Calls to reverse trend
The LGA claims the rising trend of repair times to potholes could be reversed by investing 2p per litre of existing fuel duty into roads maintenance.
Cllr Martin Tett, LGA Transport spokesman, said: ‘This year could be a tipping point year regarding potholes and councils, who have experienced significant budget reductions, now face the looming prospect of a bill of £14 billion to bring the nation’s roads up to scratch.
‘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.’
- Find out what you can negotiate on
- How to make a claim if a pothole caused damage to your vehicle
- Our guide on what to do if your claim is rejected