The cost to fill in the North West's potholes stands at almost £2bn

The backlog of repairs on pothole-plagued roads across the region would cost almost £2 billion to fix, according to a new report.

The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) surveyed councils across the country and say in the North West, despite a reported increase in average highway maintenance budgets, the number of carriageway repairs has increased by 45% in the last year.

That equates to £1.87 billion or £83,278 for every mile of road. The AIA's annual local authority road maintenance (Alarm) survey found that in the North West:

  • 1 in 5 roads - nearly 4,300 miles - could need to be rebuilt in the next five years

  • £142.6 million needed last year to reach their own targets, before tackling the backlog

  • Roads are resurfaced on average once every 46 years              

  • £8.1 million was spent on filling in potholes

  • £4.9 million spent on road user compensation claims

AIA chairman Rick Green said: "The link between continued underinvestment and the ongoing structural decline and below par surface conditions of our local roads is clear.

"The country's ambitions to encourage active travel, plus cutting waste and carbon emissions, will not be achieved with a short-term approach that can't deliver a first-rate local road network."

He added: "Local authority highway teams have a legal responsibility to keep our roads safe, but do not have the funds to do so in a cost-effective, proactive way."

Louis Spence called out Lancashire County Council about the issue in Farington.

Celebrity dancer Louie Spence helped draw attention to the pothole problem in South Ribble in January.

Councillor Paul Wharton Hardman reached out to Lancashire County Council via Twitter about the issue in Farington.

David Renard, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: "Despite the efforts of councils, which repair a pothole every 19 seconds, these stark new figures show our local road repair backlog is rising.

"To clear this growing backlog, councils need further government investment and certainty over future funding over the next decade."

PA images

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said the report "provides a sobering picture of the dire condition of our local road network".

He went on: "The Government must now look at implementing a long-term funding strategy which ringfences a small proportion of existing fuel duty revenue to give local authorities the resources to properly plan maintenance and to ensure our local roads are once again made fit for purpose."

Cycling UK head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore said: "Lack of funding and misplaced priorities from governments repeatedly prioritising major road building has left local roads in decay."