Advocacy papers

Title: Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey 2017

Organisation: Asphalt Industry Alliance
Date uploaded: 19th April 2017
Date published/launched: March 2017

This annual report found that 17% of roads across England and Wales are in ‘poor’ condition, meaning they need to be repaired within the next five years.

The Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey estimates that 17% of England’s road network (excluding London) is in poor structural condition, compared to 16% in London and 18% in Wales. These figures represent a year-on-year rise of 12% in Wales, 4% in England (excluding London) and 4% in London.

Each year the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) commissions the survey of highways departments in all local authorities in England and Wales to build a picture of the general condition of local roads. This year 63% of local authorities responded to the survey.

The report also finds that the estimated one-time catch-up cost to get roads in England and Wales back into reasonable condition has risen from £11.8bn in 2015/16, to £12.06bn in 2016/17.

Despite this rise, the survey did however find that the funding gap narrowed last year between what local highway teams received and what they actually needed to repair and maintain roads.

An average annual carriageway maintenance budget shortfall of £4.3m per authority does however mean that councils were still £729.9m short of what was required to keep the network in ‘reasonable order’ during 2015/16.

The report also found that the estimated time to clear the carriageway maintenance backlog in England and Wales dropped from 14 years in 2015/16, to 12 years in 2016/17.

In terms of potholes, the report finds that the average number of potholes filled over the past year stood at 1,748,916 (fewer than the previous year), at a cost of £102.3m.

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