1,000 year wait for roadworks? Lib Dem councillors call for action

16 Jan 2024
Roadworks on a highway

A new report by has found that almost 630,000 potholes were reported to councils across the UK in 2023, believed to be a new five-year high. The figures emerged at the same time as figures show that Conservative Government funding for potholes announced last year could lead to a 1,000-year wait for some roads to be resurfaced.

Local councillors in North Somerset are now calling for more action and funding to help tackle the issue of road and pavement repairs. North Somerset Council is responsible for managing 697 miles of road and estimates there is a repairs backlog of almost £60 million to bring the area’s roads up to a decent standard.

North Somerset Council’s Liberal Democrat Leader Mike Bell said: “Almost all the funding for road and pavement repairs comes from the Conservative government – and North Somerset is short-changed. In recent years funding has been cut in real terms and is not remotely keeping up with costs.

“More and more temporary patches are all that can be afforded, just delaying problems and adding to the longer-term backlog.”

In November 2023, the Prime Minister announced an £8 billion national boost to roads funding – but this is to be spread over 10 years, giving North Somerset £600,000 extra this year and each year in the next decade. The Conservative government estimates that it costs £1 million per mile to resurface a road completely – so the additional funding equates to resurfacing half a mile of road every year.

Liberal Democrat councillors have now launched a petition that they are asking local residents to sign to show their support for fairer funding. You can sign the petition here: www.westonlibdems.org.uk/roads

Councillor Mike Bell added: “Many of North Somerset’s roads and pavements are in a terrible state. Based on the level of extra funding provided by the Conservative government, it could take more than 1,000 years to get round every road. It is not remotely good enough. We’re asking residents to back our campaign to get the funding needed locally to repair our roads.”