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2020 / 2021 Edition

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AIA keeps local road maintenance in the spotlight

Rick Green

ALARM 2021 local authority submissions will help underpin future decision-making on road maintenance

THIS spring will see the publication of the twenty-sixth consecutive Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey, which investigates the effects of funding and maintenance levels on the condition of local roads across England and Wales, as well as the funding necessary to deliver against targets.

The ALARM survey helps to keep the issue of local road maintenance firmly in the spotlight and its findings are used by stakeholders across the sector for tracking, benchmarking and planning purposes.

Looking ahead to the next financial year, plus the spending round to come, there will understandably be continued pressures on the public purse, which is why, even in these challenging times, the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) is urging local authorities to respond to the survey, to ensure it continues to provide robust and credible data that can help underpin future decisions on local road maintenance spending and support the allocation of resources.

Speaking ahead of last week’s ‘national pothole day’ (15 January), Rick Green, chair of the AIA, issued a call for more support for local roads.

‘The last 12 months have been challenging for those responsible for maintaining our roads,’ he said. ‘Quite rightly they have been described as the ‘hidden heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic’, as they worked tirelessly to ensure that roads played a vital role in keeping the country functioning, supporting the emergency services and enabling the distribution of food and goods at the heart of the economy.

‘As we look to build back better, we need to move away from the stop/start approach to local roads investment…which has been the pattern for too long – it does little to improve overall conditions and only adds to a rising bill to put it right.

‘Potholes are a symptom of an underfunded network. What’s needed is a longer-term approach to investment in effective road maintenance, which will improve the condition of our local roads and help prevent potholes from forming in the first place.’

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