UK road repair backlogged
Over the last year, more than two million potholes were filled but the sheer backlog of repairs needed could take up to twelve years for local authorities in Wales and England to clear. This is only to repair potholes, let alone fix the road markings and any other problems that UK motorists face.
How much will repairing the UK's roads cost?
At present an estimated £12 billion will be needed to get the UK roads to a reasonable state, according to an annual study carried out by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA). The AIA has urged the government to adopt an 'invest to save' policy, which should prevent further shortfalls and reduce the long term backlog in road repairs as the study said too much money was still being spent on fixing sudden cracks and patching holes rather than on long-term maintenance and investment.
This waste of funding is based on the increased cost of filling potholes versus resurfacing the road. It currently costs over 20 times more per square metre to fill a pothole, than it does to resurface the road so investment in better roads could save significantly more in long term repair costs.
Also revealed was the sorry condition of the existing road network, with 18% of UK roads in poor structural condition. This means that almost a fifth of the roads in England have less than five years of life remaining.
Compensation claims for damage to cars caused by bad roads have increased by 20% on the 2013 figures, with the average claim rate currently standing at 530 per local authority (excluding London) at a total cost of £31.6 million. This expense would be decreased if the roads were repaired.
What is being done to help repair the UK roads?
Council leaders said the "roads crisis" was "escalating at an alarming rate" and in response the government has increased funding to help councils tackle the problem. As such, the government set aside millions in an emergency road repair fund to help repair UK roads after the recent spate of bad weather, with local councils each receiving a set amount of the pot. The weather is not the only contributing factor to the state of the UK's roads, as the country has the most heavily used road network in Europe, with traffic likely to grow more as the population increase.