Shire counties short-changed on roads funding

13 January 2020

New research produced by the County Council Network (CCN) has revealed ‘huge’ regional disparities in local investment in England’s roads.

Parish and town councils are often the first port of call for angry residents who have suffered as a result of poorly maintained roads and unfilled potholes in their local area and the analysis seems to add weight to their frustration with the news that 36 shire councils who took part had £20,885 per mile to spend on repairs, pothole filling and constructing new junctions and networks last year whereas 31 London councils were able to spend £62,350 per mile over the same period. The 36 urban metropolitan councils spent £41,929 per mile and the 8 ‘core’ cities were able to spend £57,241 per mile.

Cllr David Williams, County Councils Network chairman, said:

The scourge of potholes and gridlocked roads are amongst the biggest local issues council leaders find in their mailboxes every week, affecting motorists, cyclists and local businesses alike. We know how important it is to keep our roads in a good condition, and we do our utmost to fill defects, upgrade routes and invest in new infrastructure despite the challenging financial circumstances faced by councils.

But today’s analysis shows that county motorists are clearly the poor relation to drivers in London and other cities areas when it comes to how much gets spent on fixing potholes and improving the local road network, with drivers across the country facing a pothole lottery, even within regions. Due to more generous day-to-day funding and infrastructure investment, cities and urban areas are in a position to spend disproportionate amounts in keeping their roads maintained or upgraded compared to councils in counties. This is despite far more of our road network in the shires requiring repairs and improvements.”

The CCN are calling on the government make good on their commitment to ‘level-up’ investment in the road network and to ensure that all regions get their fair share of the new £2bn pothole fund.

For the full article and analysis please click here.

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