London roads maintenance backlog tops £1bn
The London Technical Advisors Group (LoTAG) has called for a “fair maintenance deal” from government saying London’s highways are suffering from “chronic underinvestment” as the backlog tops £1bn.
The network of highway and transport officers from the London boroughs and Transport for London, said the capital was suffering as it received an “unfair” maintenance deal from the government, with all other English authorities getting an annual settlement, while it received nothing.
The organisation said that while outside of London authorities received £3.7bn in 2017 to 2018, the underinvestment in London’s roads was leading to their declining condition with an “ever increasing maintenance backlog”.
London has a total of 17,000km of carriageways, 26,000km of footways, 4,300 structures with an area of over 1M.m2 and more than 600,000 street lights using more than 230GWh of energy.
The report concludes that London boroughs and TfL were “doing their best” to fund highway maintenance using their own budgets, but this was not enough, estimating a maintenance shortfall of over £100M in 2019.
The report warned that if no changes were made, then it would lead to further problems and a greater maintenance backlog.
“If the current funding conditions remain, the future state of the capital’s infrastructure is clear: failing highways, more potholes, more closed bridges and tunnels, more failed street lights and traffic signals, and an inability to deal with climate change, causing more flooding; not an attractive prospect for the UK’s capital.
“We are simply asking that we are treated the same as all other English highway authorities when the government sets its budget – that’s a fair ask.”
Going forward it said it was asking London’s MPs, Assembly Members and local councillors to support the call for a fair deal and said it would continue to support boroughs and collect the information that illustrated the “worsening picture for highways in the capital”.