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Lib Dems pledge £300m annually to tackle UK's pothole problem

By Mathilda Bartholomew | June 21, 2024

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In their announcement, the party called the current pothole repair strategy a "postcode lottery," where some councils take up to 18 months to fix potholes and road cracks.

Lib Dems pledge £300m annually to tackle UK's pothole problem

As part of their 2024 manifesto, the Liberal Democrats have pledged to spend £300 million annually to fix over 1.2 million potholes if they win the General Election. Party leader Sir Ed Davey criticised the Conservatives, saying, “The Conservatives have driven us down a motorway of decay – roads are crumbling, and motorists are suffering as a result.

“The Conservatives have overseen cuts to our transport network, maintenance works delays and the decline in the state of our roads. For all of their lip service to motorists, it is clear the Conservatives have failed them.

“Only the Liberal Democrats have a real plan to fix the state of our roads by giving the money to local councils, who know their roads and are best placed to fix them.”

To finance these road repairs, the Lib Dems plan to redirect money from other road-building projects.

In their announcement, the party called the current pothole repair strategy a "postcode lottery," where some councils take up to 18 months to fix potholes and road cracks.

Simon Williams, head of policy at the RAC, shared his thoughts, saying “While we agree with the premise of guaranteeing councils more road funding, the real question is whether the Lib Dems – and indeed the Labour party – would ensure the £8.3bn of funding the Conservatives had reallocated from HS2 to fix local roads is still given to local authorities should they win power.

“Without this sum, which itself is only enough to resurface 3% of all England’s council-run roads, the Lib Dems’ promised £300m will not even scratch the surface of the UK’s pothole problem.

“It is also nowhere near enough just to fill in potholes in the worst affected areas.

“We need the next government to get to the root of the issue by committing councils to carrying out more vital preventative surface dressing work as well as resurfacing the poorest quality roads, which they can only do if they have long-term certainty of cash flow.

“One solution is ringfencing a small proportion of funds raised from fuel duty to help authorities finally bring the roads back to a fit-for-purpose state.”

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