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BUDGET 2011: Long view needed on roads maintenance

Road builders today welcomed a further £100 million to hep repair potholes on local routes, but urged the government to take a longer term view on highways maintenance.

Tarmac National Contracting & Middle East managing director Paul Fleetham said it was good to see that Government had listened “to the clear messages from the public and highways authorities about the condition of UK roads”.

“Nevertheless,” he added, “road maintenance remains a huge issue for the UK.”

“There is still a backlog approaching 12 years in road repairs in England and Wales, so these short-term funds only serve to prevent a bad problem becoming even worse. To put this additional money into context, the winter of 2009 alone caused £400m additional damage to our roads, so this is not going to suddenly solve the problems overnight. 

“Roads are a vital strategic asset, and we must adopt a longer-term approach to funding and structural maintenance. I urge the Government to explore the benefits of providing local authorities with their highways funding allocation over five years, as this could help both councils and private sector partners to manage the road asset more effectively in the long term.”

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