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Councils criticised for poor roads upkeep

Transport minister Rosie Winterton has said local authorities must do more to keep Britain's roads in a good condition.

Speaking to BBC One's '"Breakfast" show, she said: "Local authorities need to first of all know how many roads they have got, they need to see what sort of condition they are in and they need to have an ongoing programme of investment in them.

"They need to make sure that they are regularly mending roads, not leaving it till they are in such a bad condition that it becomes incredibly expensive."

AA president Edmund King added to the criticism, saying: "Last year in London alone there were 35,000 potholes that were reported and not filled. The AA has released figures claiming that councils do not have enough money to repair 12% of Britain’s 1m potholes.

David Sparks of the Local Government Association said the problem was that more money was needed from Government to get to grips with the problem of potholes. Mr Sparks said an extra £200 million a year is needed to meet ministers' targets for filling in potholes by 2010.

"Our evidence shows that the backlog of work plus the escalation in costs, means that we haven't got enough money to solve problems", he said.

Source: DeHavilland