Councillor Humby, said: “At a time when local authorities are facing unprecedented budget pressures, it is imperative that a proper share of national funding is allocated for roads maintained by councils. With motoring taxes now raising some £34 billion annually, it is not unreasonable for motorists and other road users to expect to see more of this money re-invested in maintaining local roads. It is interesting to note that the proportion of income from motoring taxes that the Government spends on roads and transport has fallen from 44% to under 30% in the last twenty years. It is time to provide more funding to help reverse the decline in local road condition being seen across the country.”
The report by the Commons Transport Select Committee described the current short-term approach to financing road maintenance as “not fit for purpose” and noted that an investigation by the Asphalt Industry Alliance found that councils in England and Wales would need to spend a total of £9.8 billion over 10 years to bring all their roads up to scratch.
Councillor Humby continued: “In Hampshire, our decision to invest an extra £10 million each year in our planned maintenance programme is proving effective in reducing the rate of decline in our roads, but without additional Government funding, it is simply not possible to deliver overall improvements in the roads from year to year. It is important that the Government recognises the impact that underfunded roads is having on the national economy and quality of life for residents in Hampshire and the South East, where traffic flows are very heavy.
“Looking after Hampshire’s network of over 5,500 miles of road is a key priority. If we are to sustain Hampshire’s quality of place, it is vitally important there is extra provision for roads as we see more housing development. We are doing our level best to make sure this happens in Hampshire.”
According to The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 349 English councils, Government investment is £21,606.83 per mile for local roads, compared to £1,123,382.60 per mile for maintenance of the strategic roads network (STN) over the five-year period to 2020.
Details of Hampshire County Council’s Operation Resilience planned maintenance programme is available at: www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/plannedmaintenance
Potholes and other road problems can be reported direct to Hampshire County Council at: www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems