1. ITV Report

£591.5 million: estimated one-time cost to get roads in Wales back into reasonable condition

Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images

The Asphalt Industry Alliance's (AIA) annual ALARM survey paints a gloomy picture of the state of Wales' roads.

It says it shows:

  • £591.5 million: estimated one-time cost to get roads in Wales back into reasonable condition
  • £26.9 million per authority: estimated one-time catch-up cost in Wales to get roads back into reasonable condition
  • £3.7 million per authority: average annual carriageway maintenance budget shortfall in Wales
  • 9 years: time needed to clear the backlog in Wales
  • 63 years: average time before a road is resurfaced in Wales
  • 141,020: number of potholes filled in Wales
  • £87,300: total cost of road user compensation claims in Wales

The AIA says councils are doing all they can to do more with less funding but there comes a point when there are no further efficiency savings to be made.

The Welsh Local Government Association, which represents councils, says they're talking to the Welsh Government about funding.

The highway network requires constant maintenance and anything that accelerates natural deterioration, such as heavier lorries or severe weather conditions, impacts on the costs of maintenance.

Councils and the Welsh Government worked together on a successful local government borrowing initiative (LGBI) which saw an additional £172million invested into Wales' highways between 2012/13 to 2014/15. It led to a reduction in the percentage of highways being in poor condition as it provided longer-term investment that allowed planned resurfacing work rather than reactive 'patch and mend' repairs.

In order to sustain such improvement there has to be continued investment and the WLGA has been in discussion with Welsh Government about the possibility of a further round of the LGBI to maintain and improve condition of the network. This could help to deal with additional pressures caused by heavier lorries and could form part of a necessary response in Wales.

– WLGA spokesperson