Let councils keep motor taxes to invest in roads, says LGA

16 Oct 17

Councils could have an extra £418m to spend on local roads if government handed over the money it has received in increased fuel and motoring tax over the last 10 years, according to the Local Government Association.

The umbrella group is calling for the government to overhaul the strategy for paying for road maintenance, for issues such as potholes and wear-down of road markings, ahead of next month’s Budget.

Nearly 8.5 million more vehicles are on the road since 2000 – a 30% increase – and the cash boost would help councils contribute to tackling the country’s £12bn road repairs backlog, the LGA claimed.

Martin Tett, the LGA’s transport spokesperson, said: “Councils are doing all they can to provide their communities with the transport services they need, to manage and ensure that roads are free-flowing as possible.”

But he warned: “Only with long-term funding can councils deliver roads truly fit for the 21st century.”

The LGA, which represents local authorities in England and Wales, made the call last week and highlighted government data showing there are now 151 vehicles per mile on Britain’s roads compared to 119 vehicles per mile in 2000.

It also claimed councils fill a pothole every 19 seconds and for local authorities to deal with the £12bn backlog of road repairs would take a decade.

The LGA said although the government decided to share a proportion of the Roads Fund with local authorities this July “the government needs to be more ambitious to support councils to keep traffic moving”.

It is estimated there will be a 55% increase of vehicles on British roads by 2040, the LGA said.

The National Road Fund is a multi-billion pound pot, announced by then chancellor George Osborne in the 2015 July Budget, which means all the money raised from vehicle excise duty goes to improving the highways network.

In July this year the Department of Transport announced councils would be given a proportion of this to improve or replace the most important A roads under their management.

 

 

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