Civil engineering contractors today welcomed the publication of the Transport Committee’s report Local roads funding and maintenance: filling the gap which addresses once and for all the extreme state of disrepair of the English local road network.
The report focused on four key themes: the deterioration of local roads; their safety; funding; and the reporting of road conditions.The report noted that local government revenue funding had fallen by about 25% since 2010.
This lack of funding certainty has caused many councils to take short-term, reactive decisions on road maintenance, which is less effective than proactive maintenance and undermines local economic performance.
To this end, the Committee recommended that the Department for Transport work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to propose a front-loaded, long-term five year funding settlement to the Treasury as part of the forthcoming Spending Review to enable local authorities to address their long term road maintenance backlog and plan confidently for the future.
Commenting on the report’s publication, CECA Director of External Affairs, Marie-Claude Hemming said: “CECA has long argued for greater investment in our local roads network, to bring these roads to the same standard as our Strategic Roads, and we welcome the publication of this report.
“A five year settlement would bring local roads funding inline with the Highways England model, driving efficiencies, good practice and innovation to maintenance and giving industry the confidence to invest in their businesses to deliver this work.
“Proactive maintenance provides better value for money than reactive maintenance. This recommendation has the potential to deliver real change to our local roads network. “In order for this to happen, government must work in close consultation with local authorities and industry to ensure absolute success of any policy change.”
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