The Government has announced it will undertake its biggest ever road resurfacing programme to improve local roads plagued by potholes. The Department for Transport (DfT) has set aside £8.3 billion of redirected HS2 funding, enough to resurface over 5,000 miles of road across the country over the next 11 years.
However, the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) has previously reported that, while half (51 per cent) of local roads are in good structural condition, the remainder – more than 100,000 miles – could continue to deteriorate to the point of needing to be rebuilt within the next 15 years without appropriate maintenance measures.
Across England, local highway authorities will receive £150 million this financial year, followed by a further £150m for 2024/2025, with the rest of the funding allocated through to 2034.
There is £3.3bn for local authorities in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber and a further £2.2bn for local authorities in the West Midlands and East Midlands.
Finally, £2.8bn has been awarded to local authorities in the East of England, South East, South West and, for the first time in eight years, London.
Each local authority can use their share of the £8.3bn to identify what local roads are in most need of repair and deliver immediate improvements for communities and residents.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak said:
For too long, politicians have shied away from taking the right long-term decisions to make life easier for hardworking families – tackling the scourge of potholes being a prime example.
Well-maintained road surfaces could save drivers up to £440 each in expensive vehicle repairs, helping motorists keep more of the cash in their pocket.
This unprecedented £8.3bn investment will pave the road for better and safer journeys for millions of people across the country and put an end to the blight of nuisance potholes.
The funding comes on top of £5.5bn already committed by the Government up until 2024/25, which includes the £200m announced by the Chancellor at the Budget in March.
Transport secretary Mark Harper added:
Most people travel by road and potholes can cause misery for motorists, from expensive vehicle repairs to bumpy, slow, and dangerous journeys.
Our £8.3bn boost to repair roads across the country shows that we’re on the side of drivers. This uplift for local road improvements is a victory for all road users, who will enjoy smoother, faster and safer trips – as we use redirected HS2 funding to make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future.