Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/bloodyca/public_html/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 284

Potholes: The new growth industry?

The government says we need to find growth industries to help us out of the financial crisis, but the growing number of potholes may not be it.

According to a survey of local authorities by the catchily-named Asphalt Industry Alliance, it would take 11 years to clear the backlog of potholes, given the current rate of pothole repair.

In Wales, it is even worse, at a scary 17 years – and there is no point in Welsh drivers hoping the whole road will be resurfaced to solve the problem. On average each Welsh road will be resurfaced once every 72 years, with the corresponding figure in England being “only” 58 years.

The alliance points out that we are in a downward spiral – more potholes means more emergency repairs, which means less money for resurfacing, which means more potholes.

Over 90% of local authorities outside London reckon there is a danger to road users because of poor maintenance and they believe they only get between 50% and 60% of the funding they need from central government for road repairs.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “The survey once again shows that potholes blight our roads and are as much about lack of investment in proper road repairs as they are about bad winters and heavy traffic…We need a new approach to stop this vicious circle of decline which causes danger to all road users, particularly those on two wheels, and expensive damage to vehicles.”

The government responded by saying it has increased spending on road repairs. Norman Baker, the local transport minister said: “We are providing £3 billion to councils for road maintenance between 2011 and 2015 which is more in cash terms than the previous four years.”