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Two million holes a year in English and Welsh roads

Two millions holes are dug in the roads of England and Wales and are reducing the life of roads by as much as 30% according to a survey.

The 2007 ALARM (Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance) Survey found that on average, 12,500 holes were dug in each authority's roads every year, equivalent to more than two million trenches across England and Wales, or one for every 200 yards of local authority road.

The Asphalt Industry Alliance’s (AIA) Chairman Jim Crick points out that such damage to roads, hits public and private purses alike. "A 30% reduction in road life is a conservative estimate compared to studies that have been carried out in the States," he said.

"Roads are our biggest single asset; the Department for Transport recognises this and is encouraging authorities to quantify their value but this is a big challenge when the very asset they are trying to value is under permanent assault."

Local authorities are already struggling to keep their roads well maintained, as already reported by the 2007 ALARM Survey, with a £1bn shortfall in funding across the country and an estimated work backlog of 11 years. This additional potential cost deals a crushing blow to highways departments struggling to make ends meet.

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