Just before Christmas Britain’s Transport secretary announced a massive £6bn fund to help tackle potholes and improve local roads over the next six years. This is the kind of planning that we should be seeing here as our economy recovers, writes Padraic Deane.
The investment of close to £1bn a year will target fixing an estimated 18 million potholes on local roads in Britain.
This new initiative where the British Government has given councils locked-in funding over a prolonged period of time will allow them to plan ahead, put an end to short-term fixes, and is expected to result in cost savings for the taxpayer.
Over £4.7bn will be shared between 115 councils, while a further £575m will be available through a new challenge fund to help repair and maintain local highway infrastructure such as junctions, bridges, and street lighting.
One in six (16 per cent ) of drivers in Britain have experienced car damage as a result of poor road surfaces in the past 12 months, paying out £118 for the average repair cost.
More than 26,000 compensation claims have been made in the past financial year in Britain, an increase of 13 per cent on the previous year.
Another good idea that should be followed is £578m has been set aside in the UK for an incentive fund scheme which will start in 2016 to reward councils who demonstrate they are delivering value for money in carrying out cost-effective improvements.
The idea is to plan greater efficiencies and deliver cost-effective, preventative maintenance, making the available money go even further.