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Chasm between local and national road funding widens

The Government’s national roads are on course to receive 52 times more funding than councils’ local roads by 2020. So says the Local Government Association (LGA) as it calls for long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance to tackle the discrepancy.

National roads will receive 52 times more Government funding per mile by 2020, compared to local roads maintained by councils.

National roads will receive 52 times more Government funding per mile by 2020, compared to local roads maintained by councils.

New analysis by the LGA reveals the Government plans to spend £1.1m per mile to maintain its strategic road network between 2015 and 2020. In comparison, it will provide councils with just £21,000 per mile for the local roads they maintain over the same period.

This is despite an increase in the number of cars travelling on local roads, average speeds falling and local roads making up 98% of the country’s road network.

Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s Transport spokesman, said: “Our local roads form vital arteries for our communities. But with almost 30% more cars now on the nation’s roads than in 2000, they are under more pressure than ever before.

“Only long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance can allow councils to embark on the widespread improvement of our roads that is desperately needed, to the benefit of motorists and cyclists up and down the country.”

The analysis follows yesterday’s publication of a new report from the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, which urges to look at VED reform in the short term and dynamic road pricing in the long term to ensure sufficient funding for national roads.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.