LGA calls for greater investment in local roads

30 Jul 18

It would take more than £9bn over 14 years for councils to clear the current local road repairs backlog, council leaders have warned.

England faces a ‘congestion crisis’ as the number of vehicles on the road has increased by 2.5 million in five years (7.7% since 2013) while road length has only grown by 0.6% in the same period, the Local Government Association has said.

The umbrella-body, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, is calling on the government to produce a “radical new strategy to provide a fully-funded plan, as well as new powers to better manage congestion”.

Martin Tett, LGA transport spokesman, said: “England’s roads are currently gripped by a growing congestion crisis.

“Very few journeys begin and end on a motorway or trunk road yet government funding on the strategic road network is 52 times higher than for local roads.”

The strategic road network is about 4,300 miles long and is made up of motorways and trunk roads.

Tett added: “Spending more on improving our national roads will only serve to speed vehicles up between increased delays and congestion on local roads.”

Reinvesting 2 pence per litre of existing fuel duty could help local authorities make up that £9bn plus needed to improve local road maintenance, the LGA suggested.

The group said that this would generate £1bn  a year for councils to tackle the backlog.

Analysis by the body of government figures showed that UK drivers wasted an average of 31 hours in rush-hour traffic last year, costing each motorist £1,168.

Tett urged that the government should implement the recommendations of the National Infrastructure Assessment, which included a call for the government to commit to spending £43bn of stable long term transport funding for regional cities.

The assessment is a government produced report looking at the UK’s infrastructure needs up to 2050.

The Department of Transport has been contacted for comment.

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