The state of Bradford’s roads will not improve unless Government funding increases, motorists have been warned.
The Local Government Association today described the nation’s pothole problem as having reached “crisis point,” and further budget cuts or a harsh winter could have “catastrophic” effects on the road network.
Bradford Council is struggling to keep on top of repairs with its highways budget and the situation will continue unless it receives more Government cash, according to the councillor in charge of roads.
As well as seeing its road maintenance budget cut by £1.3 million in the past year, from £7.75 million to £6.4 million, the authority had to pay out an average of £1.1 million a year in compensation to people who have tripped or fallen over the last three years.
In July, the Telegraph & Argus revealed that the Council faces a £30 million bill to bring road surfaces up to scratch and it would take six years to do so even if the cash was available.
Today, the LGA called for the Government to free up more money for road repairs.
Councillor Val Slater, the Council's executive member for transport, admitted the problem was getting worse.
She said: “Recent Government cuts in the Council’s budget has made it increasingly difficult to remedy the number of potholes across the district, and the situation is not going to get any better unless funding increases.
“However, Bradford maintains a comprehensive highway maintenance regime that aims to make the best of the resources we have available. A rolling programme of scheduled maintenance for the worst affected roads in the district is undertaken across the year.”
Coun Vanda Greenwood (Windhill and Wrose) said some roads in her ward had “major issues,” but she added: “Because of the backlog of works needed, the more damage that happens, the more it is going to cost to repair.”
Peter Box, chairman of the LGA’s economy and Transport Board, said: “Keeping roads safe is one of the most important jobs councils do, and over the past two years they have fixed almost four million potholes.
“They’ve also reduced the cost of filling a pothole by 25 per cent and are constantly looking for ways to make their dwindling funds go further.”