Councils have asked for more government to provide long-term road maintenance funding after data from the RAC showed that torrid weather conditions caused the third-highest proportion of pothole-related breakdowns in 12 years this winter.
The RAC’s analysis of callouts showed that Britain’s scarred roads were blamed for 2.3 percent of all breakdowns during the first three months of 2018. Only the first quarters of 2015 and 2017 have been higher, at 2.6 percent and 2.7 percent respectively.
However, the motoring organisation says its pothole index, a 12-month rolling index that measures the share of breakdowns attributed to potholes, paints a more accurate – and less positive – picture.
According to the RAC, the index registered 2.63 in the first quarter of 2018 – up from 2.03 in the first quarter of 2017. It’s the fourth consecutive quarter in which the index has worsened.
In light of the news, the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, has called on the government to provide councils with ‘more support’ for roads maintenance.
The government has already pledged £100 million in emergency funding, but the LGA’s transport spokesman, Councillor Martin Tett, said a long-term solution was required.
‘When exceptional weather occurs, the impact on local roads can be significant,’ he said. ‘It’s essential this is measured and that funds are provided for serious repairs, so that traffic can move freely through our communities and local economies and businesses aren’t impacted.
‘Councils are likely to need more support from the government as the full extent of the repairs needed after the recent winter weather has been made known, and we hope that the government will stand ready to provide this.
‘Ultimately councils need a long-term, sustainable funding solution for our local roads that can boost local economies and deliver for our communities.’