Labour pledges to fix a million potholes a year in England

Labour pledges to fix a million potholes a year in England

Just nowBy Katy Austin, Transport correspondent • Adam Durbin, BBC NewsBBC

Labour has pledged to fund councils to repair up to a million potholes a year in England.

The party said it would give “multi-year funding settlements to local leaders” to fix broken roads, seeking to end what it called a “sticking plaster approach” to repairs.

The Conservative Party said it would “take no lectures” on backing drivers, adding Labour had “declared war on motorists across Britain”.

The government has already promised to put £8.3 billion into road repairs between this year and 2034, which was announced in the Tory manifesto on Tuesday.

Labour said its plan would mean an additional £320 million over five years on top of this, which it said would be funded by deferring the planned A27 Arundel bypass in Sussex.

The road upgrade in West Sussex was put on hold last year until at least 2025. It is not clear if and when Labour would aim to get it built.

Labour said its analysis indicated that pothole damage cost drivers nearly £500 million last year, with the average repair charge worth around £250.

As part of its drive to fix roads, the party pledged to break down planning barriers to make sure vital infrastructure upgrades were delivered on time and within budget.

Labour also committed to tackle rising car insurance costs by ensuring regulators cracked down on the causes of soaring prices.

Shadow Transport Secretary Louse Haigh accused the Conservatives of failing motorists, arguing “Labour is the only party truly on the side of drivers”.

She said the government had “left Britain’s roads plagued with potholes”, accusing the Tories of having “sat back as car insurance costs have spiralled out of control”.

“We will make our roads safer for all who use them and remove the barriers which bog down our planning system, speeding up infrastructure improvements and cutting costs for taxpayers.”

The Conservative manifesto on Monday contained a pledge to bring forward some of its previously announced £8.3 billion to tackle potholes in England.

In response to Labour’s plans, a Tory spokesman cited policies like blanket 20mph speed limits and the expansion of London’s ultra-low emissions zone and said: “Labour continues to sacrifice motorists for their eco zealot agenda.”

“Only the Conservatives have a clear plan and are taking bold action to back Britons on the road,” he added. “Labour would take us right back to square one.”

Motoring groups have warned it has been a particularly bad year for potholes, which can cause costly damage and be dangerous for motorists and cyclists.

Poor or defective roads were given as a factor in 20 cyclists being killed and 470 seriously hurt between 2012 and 2022, PA news agency analysis of Department for Transport figures for England has shown.

According to roadside assistance firm the AA, potholes are viewed as the most important transport issue by drivers.


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