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Asphalt Industry Alliance says £1.5billion is needed to fix road repairs backlog in the East Midlands





More than £1.56billion is needed to fix the backlog of road repairs in the East Midlands – estimates a new report - that suggests 75% of local roads could break over the next 15 years without repair.

The scale of the challenge, says the Asphalt Industry Alliance, is being made worse by rising costs, which means cash-strapped councils across the country are finding they are doing less with the budget they have.

The backlog of repairs is calculated at more than £1.56 billion. Image: Stock photo.
The backlog of repairs is calculated at more than £1.56 billion. Image: Stock photo.

The Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) report says poor local road conditions are impacting everyday lives and becoming the ‘number one complaint’ in the post bags of politicians and yet highways teams still don’t have enough money to fix them.

“Local authorities in the East Midlands have a bit more money to spend this year but the impact of rising costs due to inflation means they have actually been able to do less with it,” explains Rick Green, Chair of the Asphalt Industry Alliance, which commissions the survey.

“Couple this with the effects of the extreme weather we are increasingly facing, and the result is that the rate at which local roads are suffering is accelerating towards breaking point.”

The ALARM survey into the state of the nation’s roads is published every year. Picture: Stock photo.
The ALARM survey into the state of the nation’s roads is published every year. Picture: Stock photo.

There are now more than 14,000 miles of local roads in the region – 75% of the network – that would benefit from being entirely rebuilt within the next 15 years claims the survey.

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Despite the number of potholes filled over the last 12 months more than doubling, claims the industry, surface conditions overall have declined and roads are now often a ‘patchwork’ of repairs.

Many roads, says the study, are now a ‘patchwork’ of repairs. Image: Stock photo.
Many roads, says the study, are now a ‘patchwork’ of repairs. Image: Stock photo.

Rick Green added: “There’s still a mountain to climb when it comes to fixing our local roads and while it’s great that English local authorities should be getting more money from the government through its Network North funding, it’s clearly not going to be enough to halt the decline.

“The Transport Secretary was quoted as saying that the additional £8.3 billion over 11 years is enough to resurface 5,000 miles of local roads. This sounds like a lot, but not when you consider that there are already more than 3,200 miles identified as structurally poor, with less than 5 years’ life remaining, in the East Midlands alone.”

Rising costs and inflation mean councils are struggling to make money stretch. Image: Stock photo.
Rising costs and inflation mean councils are struggling to make money stretch. Image: Stock photo.

Roads, on average, says the Asphalt Industry Alliance are only resurfaced once every 85 years.

Read more: Council says it needs £40 million a year to clear road maintenance backlog

Breakdown data gathered last year by the AA signaled that 2023 was the worse year for potholes for five years.

There is a huge backlog, says the study, with many roads at risk of breaking. Image: iStock.
There is a huge backlog, says the study, with many roads at risk of breaking. Image: iStock.

Its president Edmund King added: “The latest ALARM report shows just how much is needed to simply get our roads up to standard.

“Arguably the road network is a local council’s biggest asset, but not enough planned investment and repairs are being made to make streets safer and smoother for drivers and those on two wheels.”



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