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Chair of the AIA, Rick Green, has warned that the road repair backlog is approaching the point of no return following the release of their latest Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey.

The survey, now in its 29th year, reports the condition of England and Wales’ local roads via responses from the countries’ local authorities.

This year, the survey says that repairing the nation’s local roads would cost £16.3 billion – almost double the additional £8.3 billion of funding promised by the Government. Worse still, the survey states that it would take a decade to catch up on the backlog.

It also noted that just under half (47%) of local roads are in good structural condition. It’s estimated that 107,000 miles of road have just 15 years of structural life left, meaning they will need to be completely replaced by this time unless proper measures are implemented. Similarly, it found that roads are only resurfaced once every 80 years on average.

While maintenance budgets have been increasing, the AIA states that this has been cancelled out by rising costs, with the increasing backlog cost being outstripped by the rate of inflation. 

When speaking about the report further, Mr Green said there is a mountain to climb when it comes to repairing the nation’s roads: “The Government has recognised that fixing our roads is about more than filling in potholes with its announcement of the additional Network North funding in England.

“But, while the transport secretary stated that this additional £8.3bn over 11 years is enough to resurface 5,000 miles of local roads, this equates to just 2.5% of the network.

“That said, English authorities would be in an even worse position without this additional funding, so we sincerely hope that this promise is delivered on and that the Welsh Government honours its commitments to prioritising highway maintenance.”

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