Today’s Budget underlines a lack of joined-up thinking when it comes to transport infrastructure believes Howard Robinson, chief executive of the Road Surface Treatments Association.
Commenting on the Budget, Robinson said: “Behind the headlines of frozen fuel tax, investment to create a four-lane M62, proposal for a road tunnel from Manchester to Sheffield, upgrading of the A66 and A69 and the greenlight given to Crossrail 2 is an inability to understand that access to these high-profile infrastructure projects is via a poorly maintained, potholed local road network.
Local highway authorities simply do not have the funding resources to carry out both necessary emergency repairs and planned long-term maintenance. After years of cut-backs and under-investment it would cost £12 billion to bring our local road network up to an adequate standard. Against this, the Chancellor has today announced the allocation of a derisory £50 million Pothole Action Fund for England in 2016-17.
The maintenance and upkeep of our local road network where 90% of all journeys are made, and which connects and joins-up the headline infrastructure projects, is surely worth better recognition and funding.”