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Thu, 9 April 2020

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Budget to include £2.5bn to fix 50 million potholes over five years

Budget to include £2.5bn to fix 50 million potholes over five years
2 min read

The Chancellor will unveil a £2.5billion investment to fix 50 million potholes over the next five years in the Budget.

Rishi Sunak said the move is part of the Government’s “infrastructure revolution” and will help improve transport links across the UK.

Figures show repair companies attend pothole-related breakdowns around once an hour, accounting for 90% of insurance claims and costing drivers on average £230 to fix.

The Treasury says the money is enough “to exceed the number of potholes that currently exist” on Britain’s road network.

And the funding can also be used by local councils for longer-term road resurfacing works to prevent potholes from forming in the future.

Mr Sunak said: “We can’t level up Britain and spread opportunity if we are spending our journeys dodging potholes and forking out for the damage they cause.

“It’s vital we keep roads in good condition. That’s why we are going to eradicate the scourge of potholes in every part of the country.

“This funding will fill millions of potholes every year - speeding up journeys, reducing vehicle damage and making our roads safer.”

He said the funding will particularly benefit regions with a higher number of streets to look after, such as the South West, the East of England, and the North West.

Responding to the announcement, Councillor David Renard from the Local Government Association said: “We are pleased the Chancellor has listened to and acted on our calls for significantly more funding to fill and repair potholes.

“Fixing our roads is a top priority for councils, who fix a pothole every 17 seconds.”

But he called on the Government to go further by handing local authorities “devolved infrastructure and public transport budgets”.

And Labour’s John McDonnell called the Budget plans a “gimmicky grab-bag of projects” which will “leave the public let down and disappointed”.

The Shadow Chancellor said: “This rehash of Theresa May’s pothole fund is another policy announcement that shows the Tories trying to patch up problems they have created without getting a grip on the underlying state of infrastructure in this country.”