ENGLAND’S crumbling roads are in such a bad state that even a promised £6 billion budget over the next six years will not be enough to fill the cracks, according to a survey of local authorities.
Freedom of information requests showed that some councils have thousands of potholes to repair — Plymouth (3,200), Northumberland (6,600) and Derbyshire (1,550) for instance — and fixing maintenance backlogs will add up to far more than the £976 million a year earmarked by the Tories.
The six worst local authorities alone would swallow up £413m of that budget just to catch up with repairs.
Unions whose members take to the roads every day warned that the failure to maintain highways risked deadly consequences.
GMB union official Brian Strutton said that the cash earmarked by the government would only cover half of the repairs needed — and that’s if government funding is delivered as promised following the election.
“Meanwhile, existing potholes will crack up when this winter bites, leaving roads in an unfit and dangerous state for motorists,” he said.
Rail, Maritime and Transport union general secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members are repeatedly complaining to us that their vehicles are being damaged by the shocking condition of the roads.
“When you are a self-employed driver, if your taxi or truck is damaged and you can’t work, it means that you can’t earn either.”