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IHE welcomes recommendations made in the Transport Select Committees report
- Monday July 1, 2019
IHE welcomes the recommendations made in the Transport Select Committee’s report “Local roads funding and maintenance: filling the gap” and fully supports the need for longer funding settlements.
The Committee’s latest report addresses the extreme state of disrepair of the English local road network and a front-loaded, five-year funding settlement is the only way local authorities will be able to address a deteriorating local roads network and plan ahead, says the Transport Committee.
The report states that:
Potholes are a headache for everyone and a severe risk for many, says the Report. A deteriorating local road network undermines local economic performance and results in direct costs to taxpayers, either through rising costs of deferred work or through a mend and make do approach that does not represent good value for money in the long-term. It also damages vehicles and causes injuries to passengers, particularly those with existing medical conditions.
The safety of other road users, especially cyclists, is seriously compromised. Pedestrians and those who are older or vulnerable, can be left feeling anxious and isolated, afraid to leave their own homes.
However, local government revenue funding has fallen by about 25% since 2010. With no ring-fencing for local roads funding, cash-strapped authorities have diverted the money to plug other gaps such as social care. Lack of funding certainty has caused many councils to take short-term, reactive decisions on road maintenance, which is less effective than proactive maintenance and undermines local economic performance.
The Committee warns that extracting a five-year settlement from the Treasury should not be an excuse to cut funding. The exact nature of the settlement should be developed following consultation with local authorities to ensure the funding is designed in a way that will be most useful for them, says the Report. It should encourage innovation, collaboration and good practice.
To find out more or to view the report please visit: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/news-parliament-2017/local-roads-funding-governance-report-published-17-19/
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