Budget 2020: £2.5bn cash injection pledged to solve the pothole crisis

13 March 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged £500 million a year to repair potholes in England over the next five years


Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged a £2.5 billion cash injection to solve the pothole crisis in this year's Budget

The Government is planning to invest £500 million a year over the next five years to tackle England’s 50 million potholes.

The Chancellor told the Commons: “We are going to eradicate the scourge of potholes in every part of the country.

"We can't level up Britain and spread opportunity if we are spending our journeys dodging potholes and forking out for the damage they cause. It's vital we keep roads in good condition."

The funding is allocated to England only as road repairs are devolved in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

In its 2019 manifesto, the Conservative Party promised to spend £2 billion filling in potholes and resurfacing roads.

Potholes are caused when moisture gets into the cracks in the road which expands when it freezes.

Research from the Federation of Small Businesses shows that 700,000 potholes were reported across in England in 2018.

Potholes can not only make a journey highly uncomfortable but can also damage vehicles.

The number of cyclists killed on because of poor quality roads had tripled since 2005 to 15 a year.

If your car has been damaged by a pothole you can claim compensation from your local council.

Motorists can also report potholes and other damage to road surfaces to the RAC.

Alex Buttle, director, car selling comparison website Motorway.co.uk, says that while the figure sounds impressive, it is a small amount when faced with the enormity of the problem.

He says: “Many councils are struggling to clear a backlog of potholes that need repairing, and with new potholes popping up every day, it’s an endless task that no amount of money is likely to completely solve forever.

 “The blame for the state of UK roads lies at the feet of successive governments that have failed to invest enough money in vital road infrastructure and public transport.

 “A lack of investment has taken its toll on Britain’s highways and the government needs to urgently look at measures beyond repairing potholes to reduce the burden on UK roads.

 “UK traffic levels are some of the highest in Europe, and unless more money is invested in public transport to reduce the number of vehicles on our roads, throwing money at fixing holes is simply sticking a plaster on the problem rather than finding a long term fix.”

How to report a pothole

The RAC has encouraged people to report potholes to local authorities in order to ensure councils and local government identify and tackle problem roads.

Where you report a pothole depends on where you found it. If the pothole is on an A road or motorway in England, you'll have to contact them at info@highwaysengland.co.uk or 0300 123 5000 (24 hours).

If you found the pothole on a local road, you'll need to contact the council responsible for maintaining the road. To find the contact details of the council you'll need to speak to, use the government tool: https://www.gov.uk/report-pothole.

Enter your postcode in the tool to find the relevant authority's contact information or website.

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