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Councils may struggle to repair potholes after spending cuts

By: Deborah Bates
24 January 2011

The Local Government Association (LGA) has spoken out after recent reports from across the UK highlighted the poor condition of many British roads.

Speaking to BBC News, the transport chairman for the LGA, Peter Box, said: "Ensuring our roads are kept up to a safe standard for motorists is a priority for councils and we will be working flat out to repair as many potholes as we possibly can."

"The coldest December in 100 years will have taken a massive toll on our roads and this damage is coming at a time when councils are being made to scale back their highways maintenance budgets," he added, before voicing his concerns over the expenditure required to repair the potholes.

"Last year, councils on average fixed one pothole every 33 seconds," Box told Construction Index; "With tens of millions of pounds being cut from road maintenance budgets this year, it is going to be a huge struggle for already-stretched highways teams to keep up."

Box's worries have been echoed by many throughout the nation, and may be a worry for those in logistics companies jobs, whose role requires them to drive up and down the country each day.

In response to these concerns, the transport minister, Norman Baker, has said: "We know how important it is that local roads are well-maintained. That is why, despite the need to make in-year budget reductions, we have protected day-to-day funding for local road maintenance this year."

"We will invest £3bn in maintenance over the next four years, as well as spending £6bn to help local authorities to make their road maintenance programmes as efficient and effective as possible. However, local councils should be managing their road maintenance throughout the year, and in view of the last two winters, we would expect winter maintenance to be a priority for them."

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