Potholes and Road Maintenance

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:17 am on 5th June 2018.

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Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 11:17 am, 5th June 2018

It is certainly preferable, as the potholes review and other survey work recognised, that it be done right first time. Roads should be reinstated in a way that allows the changes to be durable, and road surfaces should be able to stand inclement weather.

Our overall approach is based on principles of asset management, increasing over time. The Government are investing about £6 billion in the network between 2015 and 2021—about £1 billion a year—including through the pothole action fund. That money is increasingly being used as part of a more strategic, asset management-type approach to the roads, which is important. As part of that, we have looked very hard at how we can help highway authorities to adopt planned and preventive maintenance that treats the asset as such, rather than just respond reactively to problems that emerge. Those principles are already demonstrating benefits in terms of financial efficiency, improved accountability, value for money and improved customer service, and we want to continue to work on that.

As matters are presently handled, there is a formula, and rightly so. We do not think councils should constantly have to apply for the vast preponderance of the funding that they receive from the Department for local roads. They should be funded according to an easier and fairer formula.