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Give councils small share of fuel duty to solve road repair backlog, LGA says

Fuel duty should be transferred to councils in the Autumn Statement in order to allow them to fix the road repair backlog, the LGA has argued.

The LGA said that if the government allowed councils to keep 2p a litre of existing fuel duty, it would amount to £1bn a year of additional roads maintenance funding without increasing the duty for motorists.

The government recently promised councils £10m a year for the next five years to fix potholes, but the LGA warned that the road repair backlog has grown so acute that £12bn would be needed to fix it.

Cllr Martin Tett, transport spokesperson for the LGA, said today: “Our roads crisis is only going to get worse unless we address it as a national priority as part of the Autumn Statement.

“The government's own traffic projections predict a potential increase in local traffic of up to 55% by 2040. Councils desperately need long-term and consistent funding to invest in the resurfacing projects which our road network needs over the next decade.”

The LGA also said there is currently a “gulf” in funding between local and national roads maintenance.

The government invests £1.1m a mile in national roads, compared to just £270,000 a mile in local roads – despite national roads making up just 3% of the network.

The LGA noted that a poll it conducted found that 83% of respondents supported re-investing a small amount of fuel duty in local road maintenance.

Figures from the RAC also show that pothole damage has grown by 125% in the past ten years, and council payouts for pothole damage compensation claims have grown by 9% in the past year.

(Image c. Danny Lawson from PA Wire)

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