Funding cuts threaten road quality

Funding cuts threaten road quality

The quality of Britain's roads is being put at risk by cuts in government funding, according to a spending watchdog.

The amount of funding that local authorities get from the Department for Transport has remained stable since 2010. But up to 2014/15 they will be experiencing a 28% real-terms drop in grants from the Department for Communities and Local Government, a National Audit Office (NAO) report found.

The NAO said with local authorities having various statutory duties, such as reimbursing bus operators for concessionary fares, the amount they had available to spend on items such as routine highway maintenance was "likely to fall".

The NAO report said the office had pointed out that "cuts risked deterioration in highway quality and higher long-term costs for the department (DfT) or local authorities", a scenario which would make havingbreakdown cover more important than ever for motorists.

It added that the Audit Commission had reported last year that there was "a significant" backlog of maintenance work that needed to be done to get local roads to a "sustainable level".

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