Lack of funding for planned programmes of road maintenance means that the extra £40million pledged by the government to repair flood damaged roads and bridges in Cumbria and Lancashire may prove to be too little too late warns the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA).
This winter many parts of the UK, the North West in particular, have suffered from unprecedented levels of rainfall with more predicted to come. The impact on the road network has been considerable and hard pressed local authorities faced with ongoing budgetary cutbacks will find it difficult to find the funds for repairs.
“The impact of the widespread flooding on the road network is considerable and will only become really apparent as the flood waters subside”, said Howard Robinson, RSTA Chief Executive. “The road foundations may well be weakened whilst the road surface will also be showing signs of distress and damage.”
He continued: “Highway budgets are already severely stretched with current funding levels being inadequate to fulfil current road maintenance programmes let alone this unprecedented flood damage. Local authorities will struggle to find the resources for this additional financial burden.
Local highway authorities must be given the correct levels of funding to enable them to undertake the necessary planned programmes of road maintenance that provide higher levels of flood resilience.”