Pot Hole backlog reaches a record high

More than half of local roads in London could fail in the next 15 years, as the amount needed to fix the backlog of repairs reaches a record high of £1.26 billion in the capital. 

This year’s ALARM (Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance) survey, published today (19 March 2024), highlights the scale of the challenge that faces local authority highway teams who don’t have the funds to keep our roads in good shape. 

Poor local road conditions impact our everyday lives, from the cost and inconvenience of damage to vehicles, to potentially causing accidents that can prove fatal for vulnerable road users such as cyclists.  

They are the number one complaint in local MPs’ post bags yet don’t get enough funding to fix them. 

We now have more than 107,000 miles of local roads across England and Wales that could need to practically be rebuilt within the next 15 years while surface conditions have also declined, despite spending nearly £140 million filling in two million potholes over the last 12 months. 

This year’s ALARM survey is the 29th and received responses from 72% of local authorities in England and Wales.  

The findings, which relate to the 2023/24 financial year, show that in London:

·                Carriageway maintenance budgets have dropped 11% to an average of £4.0 million per authority.

·                Local authorities would have needed an additional £248 million (an average of £7.8 million per authority) just to reach their own target road conditions.

·                It would cost £1.26 billion to tackle the backlog of carriageway repairs and bring the network up to a standard from which it can be maintained efficiently and cost-effectively going forward.

·                Less than half (44%) of all local roads in the capital are reported to be in good structural condition meaning the remaining 5,100 miles (56%) could continue to deteriorate to the point of needing to be rebuilt within the next 15 years without appropriate maintenance measures taking place.

·                £8.1 million has been spent filling in 112,600 potholes over the last 12 months.

·                Roads are only resurfaced on average once every 39 years.


Ian Lancaster, from The Asphalt Industry Alliance, AIA, told Duncan more on Greenwich Breakfast.

           You can get the latest traffic and travel on Maritime Radio on 96.5FM and online, every 20 minutes between 7am and 10am and 4pm and 7pm and throughout the day.


Pictures: Derek Pritchard and John Reen


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