The Transport Select Committee has launched a new inquiry into the state of England’s local road network and the Road Haulage Association is urging transport operators to respond.
Chair of the Transport Select Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said: "Local roads are the arteries of prosperous and vibrant towns and cities. They are critical to the movement of goods as well as our own journeys.
"This plague of potholes represents a major headache for all of us. The consequences of a deteriorating local road network are significant – undermining local economic performance and resulting in direct costs to motorists, through damage to road vehicles.
“Our inquiry aims to investigate the situation in England, including current funding constraints and potential alternative models that could offer a solution….I hope our inquiry will help put the onus on the Government to address it sooner rather than later."
The RHA has long campaigned for increased investment to halt the decline of the road network and welcomed the launch of the Committee’s inquiry into funding and governance of local roads amid a marked decrease in the frequency of road resurfacing.
Many local authorities struggle to find the funding to repair roads often enough and to the required standards. According to the latest Asphalt Industry Association (AIA) ALARM survey, English councils have seen a marked decrease in the frequency of road re-surfacing. On average, for all classes of road, this has dropped from once every 55 years to once every 92 years.
RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett, said: “Hauliers know only too well how bad the roads are and everything points to them getting worse as road maintenance budgets continue to shrink. We urge operators to respond to the Committee’s call for evidence.”
The Committee calls for written evidence on:
• The condition of local roads in England and how they have fared over time, particularly compared with other parts of England’s road network;
• The direct and wider economic and social costs of not maintaining local roads;
• The quality of monitoring and reporting of local road conditions;
• Whether the current approach to road maintenance is appropriate and whether it needs to be improved;
• The suitability of governance structures for maintaining local roads and whether any changes are required;
• The funding requirements of local roads and the suitability of current funding streams for the immediate and longer-term future;
• Whether there is a role for alternative funding models for local roads maintenance and investment; and
• The regional distribution of local roads funding across England.
Deadline for submissions is 2 October.
Posted on: August 6th 2018