As you drive around the roads across Brentwood you see pothole after pothole. Many have been left unrepaired for months and others have been poorly patched up only to open up again a few weeks later. These potholes are causing a serious danger to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians and have caused thousands of pounds of damage to vehicles and bikes.
We all pay a lot of money in Council tax to Conservative controlled Essex County Council but they have openly said that filling potholes is not a priority. The County Council has admitted it is running a policy of managed decline on it's roads. Even at current levels Essex Highways are investing less than half the amount required just to stand still. The value of annual deterioration, is modelled at £77.7 million across Essex. This is compared to Essex County Council's investment of £36.6 million per year to fix wear and tear issues like potholes.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for the Conservatives locally and nationally to make a significant investment in pothole repairs and for the quality of any repairs to be greatly improved.
In the recently announced annual survey of the state of the country's roads, the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) found that nearly 37,000 miles of road, that's 18%, were in poor condition and had less than five years of life remaining without intervention.
The report estimated that more than £14 billion was now needed to fix all of England and Wales' potholes and get the country's roads back up to standard. Last week as a part of his budget, Jeremy Hunt the chancellor, revealed that he would be providing an additional £200 million one-off payment to fix potholes on English roads. The funding was in addition to the Government's annual £500 million pothole fund. Whilst the £700 million is obviously welcome, years of underinvestment by the County Council and the Government is going to make it very difficult to ever bridge the gap.