• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Labour promises to fix a million potholes in England every year

Labour’s analysis suggests pothole damage cost drivers nearly £500m last year, with average repair costs around £250.

Representational image from iStock

By: Vivek Mishra

Labour has announced plans to fund councils to repair up to a million potholes a year in England, aiming to provide multi-year funding settlements to local leaders to address broken roads.

This initiative seeks to move away from the “sticking plaster approach” to road repairs, as reported by BBC.

The Conservative Party responded, stating it would “take no lectures” on supporting drivers and accusing Labour of “declaring war on motorists across Britain.”

The government has already allocated £8.3 billion for road repairs from this year until 2034, a commitment outlined in the Tory manifesto on Tuesday. Labour’s proposal includes an additional £320 million over five years, funded by deferring the planned A27 Arundel bypass in Sussex, which is on hold until at least 2025. It remains unclear if Labour would eventually pursue this project.

Labour’s analysis suggests pothole damage cost drivers nearly £500m last year, with average repair costs around £250, according to BBC. The party also aims to remove planning barriers to ensure timely and budget-compliant infrastructure upgrades. Furthermore, Labour has pledged to address rising car insurance costs by ensuring regulators tackle the causes of price increases.

Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh criticised the Conservatives for neglecting motorists, stating, “Labour is the only party truly on the side of drivers.” She accused the government of leaving Britain’s roads “plagued with potholes” and allowing car insurance costs to escalate. Haigh added, “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.”

The Conservative manifesto on Monday included a commitment to advance some of the previously announced £8.3bn for tackling potholes in England, as reported by BBC.

In response to Labour’s plans, a Tory spokesman pointed to policies like blanket 20mph speed limits and the expansion of London’s ultra-low emissions zone, claiming, “Labour continues to sacrifice motorists for their eco zealot agenda. Only the Conservatives have a clear plan and are taking bold action to back Britons on the road. Labour would take us right back to square one.”

Motoring groups have highlighted that this year has been particularly severe for potholes, which pose costly and dangerous risks for motorists and cyclists, BBC reported. According to PA news agency’s analysis of Department for Transport figures, poor or defective roads contributed to 20 cyclist deaths and 470 serious injuries between 2012 and 2022. The AA, a roadside assistance firm, noted that potholes are viewed as the most critical transport issue by drivers.

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