Road resurfacing frequency now “once every 68 years”

Pothole chrisUK4

Published on 7 April 2021 by Mike Waters

A survey examining the state of road maintenance by local authorities has found major problems with providing “long-term, cost-effective maintenance improvements for local roads” and a vast backlog of repairs. 

The Asphalt Industry Alliance’s (AIA) latest Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey found that, despite a 15% increase in highway maintenance budgets from the central government and less traffic on the roads due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “road conditions have yet to see any significant improvement.” 

In particular, the AIA criticised the use of the extra funding to fill in potholes as quick fixes rather than the longer term approach of completely resurfacing roads. A statement by the Association highlighted the scale of the problem by noting that the number of potholes filled in England and Wales in the last year was "the equivalent of one being filled every 19 seconds.” 

Commenting, AIA Chair Rick Green said: “While the extra funding in 2020/21 was welcomed, using it to repeatedly fill in potholes is essentially a failure as it does nothing to improve the resilience of the network. The average frequency of road surfacing is now once every 68 years and the bill to fix the backlog of maintenance work on our local roads in England and Wales remains in excess of £10 billion.” 

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Picture credit: _chrisUK