National Pothole Day aims to fill in the gaps

Creidt chrisUK2

Published on 15 January 2020 by Mike Waters

A bright orange tank will be drawing attention to the worsening state of the country's roads in London today (January 15) as it spearheads National Pothole Day, Claire Price reports.

Created in 2015 to raise awareness, the campaign aims to highlight the growing gap in road maintenance budgets of local councils. The tank will be driven up to the Houses of Parliament with campaigner Mark Morrell, also known as Mr Pothole, in a prominent position to attract MPs' attention to the issue.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, nearly 700,000 new potholes were reported on the nation's highways over the past year. Over the same period of time, the House of Commons Transport Committee reported that local authorities paid out £22.5 million in compensation claims for damages arising because of defects in the road surface.  

However, budget cuts have led to decreased funding for road maintenance. The Local roads funding and maintenance: filling the gap report by the Transport Committee found that local government revenue funding has dropped by around 25% since 2010.

Commenting on the issue last year, the now-former Chair of the Transport Committee Lilian Greenwood MP said: "Local roads are the arteries of our villages, towns and cities, but most people won't have to go further than the local shops to spot a pothole that poses a risk of injury or damage. The Department for Transport must work with the public and local authorities to make them safe."

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Picture credit: _chrisUK, via Flickr