Councils call for fuel duty funds to be spent on road maintenance backlog
Local authorities in England and Wales are calling on central government to invest an extra £1 billion per year into local road maintenance.
The Local Government Association (LGA) argues that the extra money could come from the billions already raised annually in fuel duty and would be the equivalent of 2p per litre.
The LGA says that last year the bill for the repair backlog was £11.8 billion and it estimates that by 2019 the bill is likely to hit £14 billion - three times more than councils' entire annual revenue spending on highways and transport (£4.4 billion).
The LGA points out that "over the remaining years of the decade the Government will invest more than £1.1 million per mile in maintaining national roads which... contrasts starkly with the £27,000 per mile investment in maintaining local roads."
Responding to the call, Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
“Ministers have already committed to ring fencing income from Vehicle Excise Duty to spend on Britain’s most important roads including motorways.
“But local roads that fall under the control of town, city and shire halls are very much the poor relation and it is these routes which dominate most people’s travelling lives, whether they are on four wheels or two.
“Fuel duty is currently 58p a litre. Taking just 2p of that to help fund filling in potholes would seem a small price to pay to help solve what has become a perennial problem and would barely dent the Exchequer’s overall income.
“Our roads are a national asset and as much a vital utility as the energy, water and telecoms networks. We need to ensure they are treated with the same importance.”
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation
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Notes to editors:
The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.
The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: www.racfoundation.org