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Councils counting the cost of potholes

It could take up to 12 years to clear the backlog of repairs to Welsh roads. That's according to the annual road maintenance survey ALARM.

It found almost 150,000 potholes were filled here last year. And with each pothole costing an average of £52 to fill, the cost to local authorities exceeded £7.5million.

Ian Lang has been speaking to motorists in Colwyn Bay.

Councils: Funding boost for road repairs

The Welsh Local Government Association, which represents Wales' 22 councils, says "significant damage" has been done to roads due to recent extreme weather - but there has been a funding boost to road repairs.

The extreme weather conditions during the first few months of this year have resulted in significant damage.

Local government continues to work closely with the Welsh Government on a long-term maintenance programme.

The Local Government Borrowing Initiative has given a much needed boost to highways repair and improvement in Wales, by injecting an extra £60m of investment into the highways network during 2012-13, with a total of £170m earmarked for investment over a three year period.

While the current scheme is due to finish in 2015, local government hopes that it will be extended further.

– Welsh Local Government Association spokesperson

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Record winter rainfall leads to pothole backlog

Around 80 per cent of Welsh councils said the bad weather had led to 'unforeseen additional costs.' Credit: Martin Keene / PA

Record rainfall over the winter months has left Welsh councils facing a road maintenance backlog that could take 12 years to clear, according to the latest Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey.

It found that more than 148,000 potholes had been filled in Wales, but the adverse winter weather had counteracted much of that work.

The survey revealed that each local authority in Wales was facing an average budget shortfall of £2.85m, with 35 per cent of the budget being used on reacting to road maintenance problems.

Around 80 per cent of the councils that responded to the survey said they were facing 'unforeseen costs' and it would cost an estimated £20m for each local authority to 'catch-up' on its road maintenance programme.

Councils paid £1.8m compensation to road users in Wales in 2012

Councils paid 50% more in compensation than in 2011 Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Welsh councils paid £1.8 million pounds out in compensation claims for road users last year.

The annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey says two thirds of roads were badly affected by flooding in 2012.

Between them, councils in Wales filled nearly 160,000 potholes.

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Icy weather causes problems

Motorists are being warned of the dangers of black ice this morning Credit: Matthias Schrader/AP/Press Association Images

The icy conditions are causing problems across parts of the country, with the Met Office issuing a 'be aware"'warning for Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy and Wrexham.

There are problems on some roads in Denbighshire and Powys. South Wales Police urge caution in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr.

Welsh Government response to English roads plan

The Prime Minister's plans to offer private investors control of roads affect England only but could still have a significant impact on Wales, particularly if any transfer to the private sector meant a cut in the total amount spent on UK roads. Here's what the Welsh Government is saying:

We will look with interest at the outcome of the UK Government consultation into proposals to fund new roads in England.

The Welsh Government is fully committed to providing a modern, effective solution to Wales' transport needs but that solution must be affordable, sustainable and well thought out.

While we are keen to explore all potential opportunities to lever new investment into infrastructure, any new initiatives will need to make sense for Wales and deliver real value for money.

We recently launched a consultation that will look into ways of improving the M4 corridor around Newport and are engaging with stakeholders to better understand the issues and priorities. A range of measures to improve the flow of traffic are already in place.

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