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Councils have warned that maintaining local roads will be a struggle this winter due to rising energy costs and spiralling inflation.

A new report from the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association for Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) has revealed a 37.5% increase in the cost of running and fixing street lights over the last six months.

The cost of repairing our roads has also risen, with many councils noting a 22% increase in the price of filling a pothole, resurfacing and other common maintenance costs, according to the study. 

The budgets of local authorities, which include funding for building new roads and local infrastructure, have seen an estimated rise of 21%. This has escalated the cost of delivering investment in local areas.

The LGA say that global issues, such as the war in Ukraine, are responsible for driving up the costs of bitumen, electricity, steel, lighting, cement, salt and other resources, and urged the new prime minister to help mitigate these pressures.

Cllr David Renard, a transport spokesperson for the LGA, said: “As this stark new analysis shows, councils across the country are facing unprecedented increased costs to repair our local roads, keep our street lights switched on and invest in improved local infrastructure.

“Global pressures, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as increasing inflation and a shortage of materials have all provided the perfect storm for councils and piled pressure on already stretched local budgets.

“To tackle this issue, the new Government must cover these increased costs for councils or risk road conditions getting worse or reductions in other services.

“Only with adequate long-term funding – to cover increased cost pressures and invest in local services – and the right powers, can councils deliver for our communities, tackle the climate emergency, and level up all parts of the country.”

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