Cut backs and cold snaps are going to leave thousands of miles of UK roads pockmarked and in a state of disrepair. That’s according to the Local Government Association which looks after 180,000 miles of local roads in England and Wales.
The association points out that its budget has been slashed by close to half a billion pounds in the two years the Coalition Government has been in power and this spells disaster for the local road.
Although savings need to be made, letting roads fall behind a maintenance regime ends up costing taxpayers even more money – repairing damaged roads is 20 times more expensive than resurfacing them.
You aren’t just being hit through PAYE though. One in five mechanical failures on UK roads is a result of potholes and is estimated to cost £320m each year in repair bills.
Oh, and one other thing: potholes cause three million crashes a year because of drivers trying to avoid them.
The real fear is that with winter fast approaching, it could be a catastrophe for roads and local Government wallets. The winter of 2010 was so severe and damaging to UK roads, the Government had to pump an extra £200 million directly in to repairing local roads.
It isn’t just potholes though; over a third of road markings on major highways – you know, those basic safety features – are in need of renovation too. So while the Department for Transport is counting those pennies (please visualise Scrooge here), drivers are left dodging potholes and searching for the white lines.
We better hope it’s not a bad winter; there are enough dangers to contend with as it is!