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Labour pledges to fix one million potholes every year if elected

By Jack Evans | June 13, 2024

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Labour has said that it will fix one million potholes every year if the party comes into power on July 4.

Labour pledges to fix one million potholes every year if elected

Labour has said that it will fix one million potholes every year if the party comes into power on July 4.

Shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh has said that the Conservative government has failed motorists and that Labour is the only party ‘truly on the side of drivers’. The party claims that last year, drivers paid out almost £500 million in pothole-related damages with the average motorist paying £250 each time. 

Under new proposals put forward by Labour, it has said that it will fund local authorities to help improve the quality of local roads while reducing planning issues in order to make it easier for councils to upgrade local infrastructure on time and within a set budget. 

Much of the funding will come via the postponement of the A27 bypass around Arundel in West Sussex. The £320 million which would’ve been spent on this development will, instead, be used on repairs across the rest of the country. A recent update by National Highways says that the A27 bypass project has already been deferred to the ‘next Roads Investment Period’ which runs from 2025 to 2030 - suggesting that the process is already in motion. 

Ms Haigh said: “Cars are a lifeline for millions up and down the country. They get people to work, allow parents to get kids to school and help carers support relatives, but drivers have been totally failed by this Conservative Government.

“The Conservatives have left Britain’s roads plagued with potholes and have sat back as car insurance costs have spiralled out of control.

“Labour is the only party truly on the side of drivers. Our plan will fix up to a million more potholes every year, saving drivers hundreds of pounds in lower repair costs, and will crack down on soaring car insurance costs.

“We will make our roads safer for all who use them and remove the barriers which bog down our planning system, speeding up infrastructure improvements and cutting costs for taxpayers.”

A new campaign group named the Pothole Partnership recently called for a limit on temporary road repairs as well as an increase in the amount of funding dedicated to pothole fixes. 

The AA, which is a key member of the partnership, said that potholes are considered the most important transport issue by the vast majority of drivers. 

Back in April, a study by the RAC found that pothole-related breakdowns had increased by nine per cent in the last year alone, with some 27,205 callouts made due to poor road surfaces to the breakdown assistance provider. It compares with 24,906 callouts during the same period in the 12 months prior, the RAC said. 

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “While our data shows pothole damage to vehicles in the first three months of this year is lower than it was in the same period in 2023, it’s important not to lose sight of the bigger picture and the ongoing miserable state of our roads.

“The analysis clearly shows drivers are now twice as likely to suffer a breakdown due to sub-standard road surfaces as they were in 2006.

“While many would rightly say the roads are terrible, we believe they would have been far worse had we not had such a mild winter.

“We feel drivers have dodged the pothole bullet as the lack of widespread sub-zero temperatures has masked the true state of our roads.”

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