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Heavy lorries pile pressure on pothole funds

Heavy lorries piling the pressure on pothole funds, councils warn

Extra pressure on the road makes surfaces crumble more quickly and could push the road network “over the edge”, the LGA says.

An increase in heavy lorries is likely to cause a surge in potholes problems, councils have warned.

British-registered lorries carried 1.7 billion tonnes in the year ending June 2016 – an increase of 5% from the previous year, according to the Department for Transport.

The extra pressure on the road causes the surface to crumble more quickly and this, along with underfunding, could push the road network “over the edge”, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said.

LGA transport spokesman Martin Tett said: “Our local roads network faces an unprecedented funding crisis and the latest spike in lorries could push our local roads network over the edge.”

The LGA, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, has warned that the bill for repairing the country’s roads could reach £14bn within two years, with Mr Tett saying this could spark a “tipping point”.

Just £6bn has been committed for English councils to improve local roads during the current Parliament, along with a £50m-a-year fund for fixing potholes.

The LGA is calling for another £1bn a year to be dedicated to road maintenance, which would be funded from 2p per litre of existing fuel duty.

RAC roads policy spokesman Nicholas Lyes said: “We need a roads infrastructure that is fit for purpose and capable of sustaining a buoyant economy as well as supporting improved journey times for all motorists.”

A DfT spokesman said: “Roads open up opportunities and vehicles have clocked up a record number of miles in the last year, which is good news for British industry and our economy as a whole.

“Longer-term, HS2 will create new capacity for freight and help get lorries off our roads.”

News Source Sky News

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