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Government makes available £490 million from Road Investment Fund

Apr 25, 2017

Local councils are being invited to bid for a share of £490 million from the Department of Transport to improve the UK’s local road networks. The money is part of the National Productivity Investment Fund and will be allocated for projects due for completion between 2018 and 2020. Given the vital role that the entire road network plays not only to people’s everyday lives but also the economy, there is a wide disparity in funding. The government invests approximately £1.1 million per mile in the national road network it controls- 3% of the total road network. Local authorities, however, who control 97% of the network, only have £27,000 per mile available. Since virtually all national journeys start locally, there are calls to vastly increase investment in the local road networks and the government is beginning to respond. A pothole is currently being filled every 19 seconds and it is estimated that 3000 council-maintained bridges are substandard or not fit to carry heavy goods vehicles. Likewise, it has been estimated by the Asphalt Industry Alliance that one in six local roads in the UK may need to be replaced in the next five years. Roads are deteriorating at a faster rate than they can be repaired and it is believed that funding of £12 billion and a timescale of 13 years would be required to bring the entire road network up to standard. Councils have until 30th June to bid for funding, with information on the bidding process available from the Department of Transport. The money will be targeted at areas which need it the most, also providing a boost to local economies and providing opportunities to local businesses.

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