Labour pledges £300m pothole fund

Labour pledges £300m pothole fund

Labour has vowed to tackle the country's pothole nightmare if it claims power in the General Election.

The party will commit £300 million towards fixing crumbling roads the over the course of the next Parliament.

It has set its sights on filling 30 million of the troublesome holes - six million more than the Conservatives.

Potholes are a constant thorn in the side of drivers. Not only can they cause significant damage to vehicles, forcing people to fork out large sums on expensive repairs, they are also a potential safety hazard.

Such is the scale of the current problem; a recent poll by carried out by the Institute of Advanced Motorists reveals 70% of motorists believe fixing potholes should be the next government's highest priority for roads.

The Conservatives have already outlined plans to mend 24 million holes. But now Labour has promised to fix an extra six million, raising cash by halting two planned road upgrades on the A27 Arundel bypass and the A358 from Taunton to Southfields.

Shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher claims David Cameron has allowed the nation's roads to fall into a desperate state of disrepair.

He says Labour will boost spending on roads over the next five years, including committing an extra £89 million towards cycling and walking on top of £400 million already pledged by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

But not everyone is convinced by what the three main political parties are offering.

Alasdair Reisner, chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association , warns an urgent rethink is needed on pothole repairs.

He claims a whole new funding model is required to tackle highways maintenance once and for all, yet admits a one-off programme of intensive improvements to roads would significantly reduce the long-term cost of maintaining the network.

Councils estimate that £12 billion worth of repairs are needed in England alone to bring the network up to scratch.

Copyright Press Association 2015

%20http:/www.iam.org.uk/ (Institute of Advanced Motorists)