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Econ Backs Call For Further Road Repairs Funding


The UKs leading supplier of winter maintenance vehicles, Econ Engineering, has backed the findings of a major national survey which calls for greater funding to be made available for the rescue and repair of Britain’s crumbling roads.


Commissioned by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), this year’s ALARM (Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance) survey highlights the scale of the challenges faced by local authority highway teams as they deal with fundings cuts and freezes.


More than 70% of of local authority highway departments in England (including London) and Wales took part in the independent survey, which is used by stakeholders across the sector for tracking, benchmarking and planning purposes.


ALARM 2024 data shows that more than half the local road network is reported as having 15 years or less of structural life remaining, and that £16.3 billion is now needed to tackle the backlog of carriageway repairs in England and Wales – the highest figure in 29 years of reporting.


Key highlights from the survey report, include:


  • 2m potholes filled – one every 16 seconds.

  • 107,000 miles of local roads with less than 15 years’ structural life remaining.

  • 47% of local roads in good structural condition.

  • A one-time catch-up would take 10 years to complete, costing £16.3bn.

  • The average carriageway budget shortfall per authority is £7.2m.

  • 45% of authorities reported a budget freeze or cut.


Last October, the Government announced that £8.3 billion of additional highways maintenance funding would be provided over the next ten years for local road resurfacing and wider maintenance activity on the local highway network.


This consists of: £3.3 billion for local authorities in the North West, North East, and Yorkshire and the Humber; £2.2 billion for the West Midlands and East Midlands; and £2.8 billion for the East of England, South East, South West and London.


With an 85% share of the winter highways maintenance market, Yorkshire-based Econ provides the vehicles that councils need to ensure our nation’s roads remain open and operational all year round.


Compatible with a wide range of chassis cabs from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), each Econ vehicle is a tailored combination of chassis, body and features to suit specific maintenance vehicle needs – including the state-of-the-art QCB (Quick Change Body) which enables Econ vehicles to switch easily between a gritter, caged body or a hot box.


In a week which also sees the world’s leading highways associations mark International Road Maintenance Day – an awareness day created to focus attention on the protection of our local road networks – Econ has thrown its support behind the ALARM report calling for urgent action to be taken.


Econ Sales Manager, Steve Sinnott, comments: “The statistics highlighted in the recent ALARM survey show an urgent need for investment to catch up with the backlog of maintenance on the nation’s road networks."


“Councils need to capitalise on the increased funding and make greater investment in equipment and labour to ensure the public can see the improvements in the highways. While this extra funding is welcomed, it is clear from this report that more needs to be done to give cash-strapped local councils up and down the country the finances they need to rescue our roads."


“Long term repairs offer greater value for money and will give the public the confidence they are shouting out for. Equipment is available today from companies such as Econ Engineering to offer this cost-effective long-term road repair solution.”

Rick Green, Chair of the Asphalt Industry Alliance, which commissions the ALARM survey, said in his report overview: “Poor road conditions impact on our everyday lives, from the cost and inconvenience of damage to vehicles, to potentially causing accidents and injury to vulnerable road users such as cyclists, some which might prove fatal."


“Last autumn the Government acted on repeated calls – including ours – for longer-term, sustained investment with its promise of £8.3 billion additional funding for local roads in England, including London, over the next 11 years. But, with the latest findings of this year’s ALARM survey reporting only 47% of local roads across both England and Wales as being in ‘good’ structural condition, the scale of the challenge is clear."


“There’s still a mountain to climb when it comes to fixing our local roads. We need to get to the point where local authority highway engineers can plan and proactively carry out repairs and preventative works in the most timely and efficient way to the greatest benefit of all road users – rather than just having enough money to address immediate and urgent needs.”


This year’s ALARM survey is the 29th and received responses from 72% of local authorities in England and Wales. The survey report is available to download by visiting www.asphaltuk.org


For more information on Econ, visit www.econ.uk.com/


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