Department for Transport slammed for failing to maintain roads

PotholeA top MP has slammed the Department for Transport (DfT) for cutting maintenance budgets – leading to 70% of motorists being unsatisfied with the quality of our roads.

Chair of the committee of public accounts, Margaret Hodge, said: “There has been too much reactive work in response to flooding and other events and not enough focus on preventative work that is less expensive in the long-term.”

Hodge was speaking as the committee published a report on strategic road infrastructure.

The report states that it costs just £52 on average to fill a pothole (rising to £70 in London) – yet a whopping £30 million is spent on compensation claims from road users for poor road conditions.

Since 2011, the DfT has cut road maintenance budgets by £1.2 billion – but has then had to provide £1.1 billion in emergency funds to repair damage caused by flooding or harsh, winter weather.

Hodge described this as “ludicrous”, and concluded: “Better information, better planning of funding and a pro-active stance on maintenance are what the Department must promote to have a chance of pleasing unhappy road users.”

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