Tag Archives: road funding

CYCLISTS FALL VICTIM TO DETERIORATING ROADS

The decline in the state of road surfaces is one of the main factors behind a significant increase in the numbers of cyclists being killed or seriously injured according the CTC, the national cycling charity. New statistics from the Department for Transports show that in the year ending March 2015 3,410 cyclists were killed or seriously injured compared with 3,383 a year earlier. A further 16,760 cyclists were slightly injured. Commenting on the figures, CTC said that the rise in deaths and injuries was due to an increase in traffic, rising number of cyclists and the continued deterioration in road surfaces. It called upon local councils to be more proactive in fixing potholes. However, the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) explained that lack of funding means that local authorities are often fighting a losing battle of pothole patch-and-mend rather than carrying out sustained programmes of road maintenance.

“Cyclists are amongst our most vulnerable road users. For them a deterioration in the road surface can result in serious, life-changing injuries,” said Howard Robinson, RSTA Chief Executive. “There is currently a £12.1 billion backlog of local road maintenance. Despite the government providing £6 billion to maintain local roads over the next six years, the backlog, continued cuts in funding and the ever increasing use of roads means that local councils are fighting a losing battle and find it difficult to keep pace with the level of road repairs required.”

He continued: “The Chancellor, George Osborne, recently announced a new road fund that will see the receipts from the vehicle excise duty being used for investment in roads. It is unfortunate that the monies raised will be directed at motorway and trunk roads and not at local roads which are used by cyclists and indeed by 98% of motorists. The road fund should be used for both national and local roads with local councils being given the necessary resources to carry out real long-term programmes of road maintenance and not emergency patch-and-mend.”

EAST SUSSEX DRIVERS SHORT CHANGED BY CHANCELLOR’S ROAD FUND

East Sussex County Council will not receive any monies from the Chancellor’s new vehicle excise duty road fund despite East Sussex motorists paying over £55 million* per year in vehicle excise duty. The new fund will only be for trunk roads and motorways. It will not be available for local roads which represent 98% of the UK road network.

The fund was unveiled by George Osborne in his July 2015 Budget. It will see the introduction in 2017 of three new levels of vehicle excise duty for new cars, starting with a lowest duty of £140 per year. The Chancellor promised that “every single penny raised in vehicle excise duty in England will pay for the sustained investment our roads so badly need” and stated that “tax paid on people’s cars will be used to improve the roads they drive on.”

“It is unfortunate that the majority of roads used by the majority of traffic will not benefit from this fund”, said Howard Robinson, chief executive of the Roads Surface Treatments Association. “Last year Kent drivers paid over £55 million in vehicle excise duty yet the Council received only £16.5 million grant from the Department for Transport for road maintenance.” He continued: “The road fund should be used to invest in both the national and local road network. As stated by the Chancellor the tax fund should be used in improve the roads that people drive on surely that should include the local road network.”

*Calculated by multiplying the Department for Transport figures for the total number of vehicles registered in East Sussex for 2014 (330,608) by the £166 average vehicle excise duty charged per annum according to the Chancellor’s July 2015 Budget speech.