USEFULNESS OF POTHOLE AUDIT QUESTIONED

The Road Surface Treatment Association (RSTA) has welcomed the Department for Transport’s (DfT) proposed pothole mapping audit and hopes sufficient funds to carry out maintenance and repairs will be forthcoming.

DfT has announced that it will work with local authorities, highway data and mapping company Gaist and on-road businesses such as Deliveroo, Uber, Tesco and Ocado to identify pothole hot spots. This will be first-of-its kind audit of potholes in England. It aims to direct where action against potholes is most needed.

“The DfT initiative to provide a comprehensive nation-wide map of potholes is to be welcomed,” said Paul Boss, RSTA Chief Executive. “However, a map telling where the potholes are will be of little use if local authorities do not have the funds to fix them.”

Since 2010 the government has provided over £1.2 billion solely to help repair potholes on the local road network, however, Boss points out that the latest Asphalt Industry Alliance Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey (ALARM) estimated that it would take 11 years and cost £11.4bn.

“The additional pothole funding equates to £120 million a year and that falls far short of the funding necessary to address the plague of potholes resulting from decades of under investment in the local road network,” said Boss. “Furthermore, the proposed audit is reactive. Whilst we have to fill potholes in the short term, local authorities need certainty of long term funding to ensure they can plan and programme road maintenance that will prevent potholes from forming in the first place.”