Hampshire County Council has backed calls from the RAC for more Government investment to repair local roads.
The County Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Rob Humby, said: “At a time when local councils are facing unprecedented budget pressures, it is imperative that a proper share of national funding is allocated for roads maintained by councils.
“The motorways and major trunk roads maintained by Highways England receive around 52 times more funding than local roads – this is a huge gap which must be addressed.
“In Hampshire, our decision to invest an extra £10million each year in our planned maintenance Operation Resilience programme is proving effective in reducing the rate of decline in our roads, but without additional Government funding, it is simply not possible to deliver overall improvements in the roads from year to year.
“It is important that the Government recognise the impact that underfunded roads is having on the national economy and quality of life for residents in Hampshire and the South East, where traffic flows are very heavy.
“Local councils are also drastically underfunded for maintaining highway bridges. In Hampshire, we estimate we have only around 20% of the funds needed to safely maintain all of Hampshire’s bridges over the next 10 years.
“This is having a detrimental knock-on effect across all our highways maintenance; for example, we have had to divert £2million for urgent repairs to the Redbridge Viaduct in Totton, following unsuccessful bids to secure Government funding for this essential bridge maintenance project.
“Well maintained roads and bridges are vital to the prosperity of Hampshire and the quality of life of the people who live and work here. Motorists contribute significant amounts to the Government through taxes, and it’s high time that a realistic proportion of this came back to councils to help improve the state of the local roads we all use every day.”
Details of Hampshire County Council’s Operation Resilience planned maintenance programme is available at: www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/plannedmaintenance
Potholes and other road problems can be reported direct to Hampshire County Council at: www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems