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WATCH: Calls for cash to fix Cornwall's potholes

WATCH: Calls for cash to fix Cornwall's potholes

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 12:03pm 20th March 2018. (Updated at 3:30pm 20th March 2018)

The length of roads in the south west that need repairs is the same distance as driving from Truro to Toronto.

That is according to a new report which has revealed the state and impact of things like potholes across the country's roads.

Nationally, the repair bill is estimated to cost millions of pounds.

But according to the stats, Cornwall was actually one of the lowest areas needing maintenance to its main Council-owned A roads.

Cash-strapped local authorities have reported that more than 24,400 miles of road are identified as needing essential maintenance in the next year.

That is according to the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey.

Whilst the Department for Transport's local highway maintenance funding for English local authorities (excluding London) is now around £1.2 billion a year - the highest it's been in over a decade - and local authorities are putting in a further £1bn from council reserves, borrowing and other sources - officials say the total spend is still way short of the amount needed to halt the decline.

Local authorities in England and Wales say the gap between the funds they received and the amount they actually needed to keep the carriageway in reasonable order was almost £556 million - a shortfall of £3.3 million for every authority. And, it would now take 14 years to get local roads back into a reasonable steady state, provided adequate funds and resources were available.

The AIA are urging local authorities, government and the general public to recognise the importance of the road network and its value to society.

The RAC is calling for more cash to help the problem.

Head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: "This latest report clearly highlights that the shortfall between what councils need to fix the roads, and the cash they actually have at their disposal, is as enormous as ever.

"It's time for some fresh thinking when it comes to finally getting on top of Britain's pothole problem. Short term funding and creating pots by which local authorities can bid for cash doesn't appear to be addressing the root cause of the problem. Instead, the Government should be looking at how it can guarantee councils the certainty of reliable long-term funding so that they can finally bring every road up to a standard road users think is acceptable.

"In just two years' time, motorways and major roads will enjoy ring-fenced funding from Vehicle Excise Duty receipts. If just a fraction of existing fuel duty revenue was ring-fenced specifically for local roads, over just a few years enough could be raised to allow councils to make proper, lasting repairs that are fit for the 21st century. As things stand, all road users are faced with the prospect of road surfaces falling into an even worse state making for increasingly uncomfortable, expensive and, in some cases, downright dangerous journeys.

"The recent bad weather will only have made matters worse. Before the cold snap, the condition of many local roads was on a knife edge and we now expect a number of these to deteriorate still further as we move into the Spring."

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