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Government urged to oversee local road spending

Engineers have called for central government to oversee a pothole-repair programme.

The Institution of Civil Engineers gave a lukewarm reaction to the announcement of £1bn per year for councils to spend on local road repairs.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin this morning said £6bn would be awarded to local authorities from April 2015 to March 2021 for highway maintenance.

But ICE director-general Nick Baveystock said this was only half the amount of money needed to bring Britain’s roads up to scratch. He called for additional measures from Whitehall.

“The £6bn additional funding for local roads – previously announced in the summer but available from the next Parliament – will provide a welcome boost if it survives a post General Election spending review,” said Baveystock.

“However, given the one time road maintenance catch up cost has been estimated at £12bn this year, a significant gap will remain in local authority revenue budgets.

“Additional funds should be complemented by a focused, joint central and local government programme for the repair work.

“Given the pressure on local authorities, this would ensure the funds are protected, spent in a cost efficient way and ultimately result in improved road conditions for UK in the long term.”

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