Ongoing discussions before the autumn Budget led to the Government announcing £420 million of additional funding for highways authorities to fill potholes and carry out other works. The Conservatives: the party of filling the many potholes, not the few.
The national problem of potholes has been caused by this Government and their 50% cut to local government funding for tackling it. While the new money is welcome, it is a drop in the ocean. North-east councils alone need £1 billion to sort out their pothole problem. Will the Minister press the Chancellor for more?
Cycling UK estimates that it costs an average of £53 to fill a pothole, so the money announced at the last Budget in the north-east alone is enough to fill over 400,000 potholes. Rather than complaining about it, perhaps it is time those north-east councils got on with it.
Potholes are not a joke for cyclists; many are killed on our roads every year. The roads in Britain are becoming more dangerous, and our very good record in road safety is being lost to other countries. Is it not about time the Minister talked to the Home Secretary and others not only about potholes but about the number of police on our roads catching people who break the law?
I am about to pick up my new bicycle tomorrow, so the issue of potholes is close to my heart. The Government are working cross-departmentally to tackle the problem, which is why we have created this £420 million fund—to fill potholes up and down the England.