Reacting to the news that the Department for Transport is granting £201 million to councils across England to undertake road maintenance and pothole repair, Malcolm Bingham, Head of Road Network Management Policy at FTA, commented:
“Damaged road surfaces cost businesses in the logistics industry millions of pounds a year in vehicle repair and hire placement.The news that the government has finally responded to FTA’s calls for improvements in road surfacing and allocated £201 million to help tackle this issue is particularly welcome; the road network has been subject to chronic underinvestment for several years and this funding is desperately needed.
“The logistics industry is the lifeblood of the UK economy and needs an efficient and effective road network to continue stocking Britain’s factories, retail outlets, schools, hospitals and homes with the raw materials and goods they need to continue operating efficiently. While this funding is an important milestone, it must be used wisely to make a long-term impact on our nation’s road network and must not be seen as a complete solution. Estimates show it would cost £9.79 billion and take 10 years for highways departments in England and Wales to catch up on the repairs needed*. Further investment will be needed on a regular basis to maintain the road network and ensure there is no further deterioration.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.
*According to The ALARM (Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance) Survey 2019 published by the Asphalt Industry Alliance.