I know potholes frustrate motorists, cyclists and other road users in Wyre Forest every day.
Pothole-damaged roads cause traffic delays, cost motorists in costly repairs to their vehicles and risk road safety for all of us. The latest statistics show the Britain is suffering a pothole epidemic – with a third of local roads in urgent need of attention. Public anger with the problem has reached record levels and this year the first ever National Pothole Day is being held to raise awareness of the problem.
Everyone knows it is cheaper to plan road maintenance rather than patch up damage following floods, ice or storms. But this Government cut roads maintenance budgets by billions in 2010 and have just been turning the funding tap on and off ever since. Combined with slashed local authority budgets this has left councils struggling to fix the battered roads and prevent further disrepair in places like Wyre Forest.
Since the Conservatives entered office an additional 2000 more miles of local roads require maintenance work. That’s further than going from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again. But Conservative Ministers just not seem to care that our roads are in a worse state of repair than ever before. They claim to be making a “huge investment” in local roads.
But Tory Ministers are misleading people in Wyre Forest about pothole money. The reality is that real terms funding will be millions of pounds less in 2020 than under the Labour Government in 2010. The Conservatives have no real long term plan for roads repair. They seem more bothered a top-down reorganisation of the Highways Agency which looks after just 2% of UK roads – our motorways and ‘A roads’ – than fixing the local roads in Wyre Forest that people on rely on every day.
It is clear that people are fed up with the declining condition of our roads and are starting to take the problem into their own hands. The new Street Repairs App will help people in Wyre Forest to report pothole problems and help the council to fix them. http://www.streetrepairs.co.uk/app
A Labour Government would prioritise funding for roads repair and work with councils on a long term plan to prevent disrepair in the future. It is time to fix pothole Britain.