LGA calls for government to share fuel duty cash with councils
The LGA said the Government could inject a further £1bn a year into roads maintenance by investing just 2 pence per litre of existing fuel duty but without increasing fuel duty rates.
It added that recent harsh winters and decades of underfunding by successive Governments has seen the national backlog of road repairs rise to £12bn – up £1.5bn in the past year alone.
The Government has recently responded to council calls for extra funding to repair our roads which include giving councils a share of a £168m fund to fix potholes last month.
However, the LGA said this is ‘simply not enough to free councils trapped in an endless cycle of only being able to patch up our deteriorating network which will always be more expensive than longer-term preventative work’.
It added that it is time for Government to commit to vital long-term investment by handing councils a slice of fuel duty cash for road repairs and maintenance.
Cllr Peter Box, chair of the LGA's Economy and Transport Board, said: ‘Our roads are in such disrepair that it will now take more than a decade and £12bn to bring them up to scratch. Tackling this ever-growing national repair bill must be a priority and the Government can do this by injecting an extra £1bn a year into roads maintenance – funded by investing 2 pence a litre from existing fuel duty.
‘Councils are fixing around 2 million potholes each year despite funding cuts and multi-million pound compensation costs for pothole damage but are trapped in an endless cycle of patching up our deteriorating network.
‘This is leaving our country sleep-waking into a roads crisis that is escalating at an alarming pace. It will only get worse with the Government's own traffic projections predicting a potential increase in local traffic of more than 40 per cent by 2040. Long-term and consistent investment and better use of motoring taxation is now desperately needed to allow councils to provide widespread improvement of our roads.’