Believing the £200m pothole fund will improve roads


When Chancellor George Osborne outlined the 2014 Budget he mentioned an MP who’d influenced him in their decisions.

My Honourable Friend for Northampton North is a consistent campaigner for resources to repair the potholes in the constituency and across the country.

His persistence has paid off.

I’m making £200million available which local authorities can bid for. I trust Northampton will be making an application.

£200m pothole repair fund

The MP involved is Michael Ellis, who has campaigned for added funding to tackle potholes for many years.

He recently handed in a petition to 11 Downing St, signed by more than 1,200 of his constituents.

I am absolutely delighted that these funds happen to be allocated, said Ellis.

This really is a commitment with the Chancellor at a time when there’s a lot of pressure on treasury funds.””, though Naturally, one could always ask for more””

The cash will be allocated via a bidding process, and also the system and timescale with this is currently under discussion.

State of the nation’s roads

Partly because of a backlog of repairs and also because of severe weather, the state of the UK’s roads has declined in recent years.

Harsh winters are particularly hard on roads as water goes into existing cracks, expands as ice and makes them bigger, while persistent flooding weakens the road’s structure.

In Scotland, it had been revealed that local councils were spending a lot more than £1,600 a day on compensation for drivers whose cars happen to be damaged by potholes.

By hitting a pothole in the last two years, plus a survey from the AA in 2013 said that a third of drivers have damaged their vehicle.

£10.5bn needed to restore roads

The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) publishes an annual report each spring on the health of the roads in Wales and England.

The latest report, published in March 2013, it stated that it would take £10.5 billion to bring back those roads to a reasonable condition.

So, while transport campaigners welcomed any additional funds announced by the Chancellor in his 2014 Budget, many also expressed disappointment.

£200m ‘not enough’ say transport campaigners

Tony Ball is vice chairman of the Local Government Association’s Economy and Transport Board.

Our company is facing a 42% increase in traffic on local roads by 2040 and there is a £10.5 billion backlog of road repairs.

The situation is getting worse each and every year because of a £500 million annual funding shortfall.

We urge government to provide a comprehensive and full package, such as the resurfacing of roads, instead of funding in dribs and drabs.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: It is disappointing that the £200million made available inside the budget needs to be bid for.

This produces a bureaucratic burden and means that not all drivers and councils will see the benefits.

The best way to claim for pothole damage

If you have comprehensive car insurance, it can be possible to claim against that for pothole damage to your car.

This will likely count being an at-fault claim and affect your no-claims bonus, however.

So, it’s worth calculating the benefit of having the car repaired relatively promptly up against the longer-term result on your premiums.

But you can even claim for pothole damage from the local council or perhaps the Highways Agency.

Read our step-by-step help guide to claiming for pothole damage, including information on how to report a pothole.