The Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) has welcomed the Chancellor’s budget commitment to provide a £2.5bn pothole fund.
Mike Harper, RSTA Chief Executive, said: “We are pleased that the Chancellor has delivered and provided much needed additional funding to address the significant problem of potholes that is affecting much of our local road network.
It was interesting that when the Chancellor made his pothole funding pledge, his fellow MPs responded with one of the loudest cheers in response to his Budget. This underlines the cross-party support to fix the local road network and in the words of the Chancellor of the need to ‘Get it Done’
However, there is still much that he can do. Whereas the new funding is to be warmly welcomed it must be remembered that it would cost £9.7bn to negate the maintenance backlog and bring the local road network up to a reasonable standard.
We hope that the realisation that the local road network needs help will encourage the Chancellor to recognise that sufficient funding for long-term planned programmes of maintenance would prevent potholes from forming in the first place. It is also a better use of funding as it costs on average £52m2 to repair a pothole against the mere £2.50m2 to surface dress and maintain a road.
To this end, we recommend that the Chancellor examines the potential of injecting a further £1.5 billion a year maintenance backlog by investing just 2p a litre from the existing fuel duty and provide a funding settlement that enables planned five-year maintenance programmes.”