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Road surface cash shortfall soars

NCE stock roads

The shortfall of cash available for road surface repairs at councils across England and Wales rose by more than a third this year, according to research.

The Alarm survey from the Asphalt Industry Alliance found that the average local authority highway maintenance budget was £16.2M, of which 52% was spent on the carriageway.

This gave an average annual shortfall for road surface repairs of £4.6M per council, up from £3.2M in 2015.

Councils estimated that the carriageway maintenance backlog would take 14 years to clear at a one-off cost of £11.8bn.

Asphalt Industry Alliance chairman Alan Mackenzie said: “his year’s Alarm survey shows that clearing the maintenance backlog remains out of reach for most local authorities.

“The full effect of longer, wetter winters on poorly maintained roads can take a number of years to be fully realised. This, coupled with increased traffic, an ageing network and prolonged under-investment in our local road network means that its resilience is continuing to be tested.”

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