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Pothole Britain: Councils Face Huge Backlogs | Sixth Network
Ministers are warned they will have to double the promised £6bn if they are to tackle the problem.

Pothole Britain: Councils Face Huge Backlogs

Councils across Britain are facing huge backlogs of pothole repairs.

Some are behind on repairs to the value of £100m, according to Freedom of Information requests.

Others had thousands of potholes to fix even before the winter set in.

And ministers are being warned that a near £6bn fund to fight potholes in England over the next six years would have to be doubled to solve the problem.

A succession of severe winters, and the flooding of 2014, have left many councils playing catch-up with road repairs.

Video:Councils Facing Pothole Problem

Some of the biggest backlogs are in Leeds (£90-100m), Gloucestershire (£86m), Oldham (£60m), Rochdale (£58m), Islington (£79m) and Swindon (£40m).

Some councils have thousands of potholes to repair, including Plymouth (3,200), Northumberland (6,600) and Derbyshire (1,550).

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “Recent estimates by the Asphalt Industry Alliance suggest a one-off investment of £12bn is needed in England to deal with the backlog in road maintenance, the majority of which is associated with those roads for which local authorities are responsible.”

There has also been criticism from unions representing taxi drivers and council workers.

“Our members are repeatedly complaining to us that their vehicles are being damaged by the shocking condition of the roads,” said Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union.

Video:New Funds To Fix Potholes

“When you are a self-employed driver, if your taxi or truck is damaged and you can’t work it means that you can’t earn either.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Good local roads are vital for our transport network and it is for local councils to maintain them properly.

“This Government has provided over £4.7bn since 2010 – an increase of £1bn compared with the previous parliament.

“As part of our long-term economic plan we will also spend a further £6bn between 2015 to 2021 providing councils with the certainty they require to plan how they will keep their roads well maintained.”

The AA claims the state of roads is the number one concern of motorists.

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