Pothole repairs 'to cost over £5bn'

The Labour Party has said that over £5 billion would be needed to allow local authorities in England to repair potholes on their roads.

Of the 152 local authorities in England considered for a survey by the party, 111 responded to the questionnaire .

Two out of five reported a road repair backlog totalling £5.36 billion.

Over nine out of 10 (92%) councils said they are facing a shortage of cash to repair the potholes on their roads.

The study showed that 17 councils had individual backlogs of over £100 million, with three county councils - North Yorkshire, Kent and Devon - reporting figures in excess of £400 million.

Nearly 75% of the councils are reducing their budgets for road repairs in real terms.

Shadow roads minister John Woodcock said: "Potholes frustrate road users more than anything and it's clear that the Tory-led government has no serious long-term plan to get our roads back into shape.

"What is needed is a radical look at new funding models, councils working together and better engagement with the private sector to tackle this problem."

Responding to the claims, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: "Even though we have had to make savings to cut the huge budget deficit that Labour left us, this Government is still providing more cash for road maintenance over the next four years than Labour provided in the previous four years."

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