No Respite for Local Roads in the North West Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) Survey

This year’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey makes bleak reading, with worsening carriageway conditions and mounting costs set to spell more misery for road users.

 

The ALARM survey, published today (March 21, 2023) by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), reports that the equivalent of 700 potholes are filled in the North West every day.

 

But, local authority highway teams in the North West only received just over half (58%) of what they needed to stop local roads from further deterioration and approaching £2 billion is needed to fix the backlog[1]* of carriageway repairs in the region.

 

Therefore, a national pledge of £200m in the budget on Thursday 16th March only scratches the surface!

 

The data shows that in the last year, the gap between what local authorities in the North West received and what they said they would have needed to keep roads to their own target conditions and prevent further decline is now £207.0 million – an average of £9.0 million per authority.

 

And, the cost of fixing the backlog of carriageway repairs is £1.82 billion – the equivalent of more than £80,000 per mile of local road in the North West – and would take an average of 11 years to complete.

 

This year’s ALARM survey received responses from 74% of local authorities in the North West. It reports local road funding and conditions based on information provided directly by those responsible for its maintenance.

 

The findings of ALARM 2023, which relate to the 2022/23 financial year, show that in the North West:

 

  • Local authorities would have needed an average of an extra £9.0 million each last year just to reach their own target road conditions.
  • It would now cost £1.82 billion to tackle the backlog and bring the network up to a standard from which it can be maintained efficiently and cost effectively going forward.
  • 18% of the network (4,000 miles) is already assessed as having less than 5 years’ structural life remaining.
  • The equivalent of 700 potholes are filled in the region each day.
  • Roads are only resurfaced on average less than once every 51 years.

 


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