No single issue is raised more frequently on the doorstep than potholes, and I share constituents' desire to see improvements to the condition of our roads.
Earlier today, the Transport Select Committee, of which I am a member, published our report on local roads funding and maintenance. This comes after many months of evidence sessions and meetings with experts, local government representatives and Ministers.
Despite the fact that almost every journey begins and ends on a local road, we argue in our report that successive governments have neglected the local road network, prioritising instead larger, major road projects. Quite simply, in the last few decades, not enough money has been allocated to smaller local roads and what is allocated is not spent efficiently or effectively.
Constituents are understandably infuriated by the current ‘patch’ approach which sees Councils return to the same section of road time and time again to repair damage – often having to refill potholes that had been repaired not long previously.
The report therefore calls for local and central government to move away from the short-term, reactive approach to road maintenance and towards a system that enables pro-active resurfacing work - keeping our roads in good condition and being far more more cost-effective in the long-run.
I am pleased to say that this is beginning to happen already in Oxfordshire, with Oxfordshire County Council undertaking a £3.5 million summer resurfacing project - which will see some 83km of road across the County resurfaced. This is precisely the sort of pro-active, cost-effective investment that we need to see happening right across the country - and I hope our report will go some way towards moving central and local government in that direction.
Click on the link below to read our full report.
Robert Courts MP
|Transport Select Committee Report on Potholes||1.03 MB|