10bn 'total cost of road repairs'

Local authorities in England and Wales estimate they need more than £10 billion to repair their roads to reasonable condition, a report has shown.

The report from the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) found that the councils said a one-off investment to fix the roads will be an estimated total of £10.65 billion - a year-on-year rise of £1.15 billion.

Councils in England, excluding London, estimate that the backlog of repairs will take 11 years to be cleared, while those in London think they require nine years to complete the task and Welsh authorities believe they need 14 years.

Highways engineers consider a fifth of local roads in England to be in poor condition, with the figure for London being as high as 25%.

In addition, 17% of Welsh local roads are thought to be in a poor condition.

According to the report, the total number of potholes filled in 2010/11 reached more than 2.2 million - a year-on-year rise of 59%.

The report found that the highway maintenance budget received from central Government in 2011 fell short by £895 million - up annually by 12%.

A majority (90%) of local authorities think that under-funding of highway maintenance programmes creates a threat to road-user safety.

The report said most authorities in England and Wales were unable to make good the damage caused at the beginning of 2010 before the snow fell again at the end of the year.

Copyright © Press Association 2011