The biggest area of complaint for councillors is potholes. Some roads, such as the Upper Drove in Andover, have become infamous for their condition. The Conservative government spends 31 times more per mile on maintaining motorways than local roads. Local Government Association (LGA) analysis has shown spending on local road repairs was reduced by more than in other comparable industrialised nations. £4 billion was spent in the UK maintaining local roads in 2006 whilst the figure fell to £2 billion in 2019.
How do other countries compare? Sweden, Denmark, the United States, Japan and New Zealand increased spending by around half over the same period. The LGA's latest residents’ polling found only 34% were satisfied with local roads maintenance which was the lowest since the survey began in 2012. Our own local surveys suggest satisfaction is significantly worse.
I support the LGA call for all political parties to commit to a 10 year plan to sort out our local roads by boosting local infrastructures spending. This can be done by devolving 2p of the existing fuel duty to local councils. In the meantime, Hampshire County Council, who is responsible for our potholes need to do more, and also have a friendlier interface for motorists making claims for damages due to potholes.
Cllr Luigi Gregori