According to new figures, three out of five councils in England have cut their budget
An alarming 62% of local authorities in England have cut their highways and transport budget for this year. This equates to three out of five local councils, all of whom have cut their road budget by around £700,000 this year.
According to new analysis carried out by the AA, of the 363 local authorities in England, 62% had cut their highways and transport budget from 2016 to 2017.
The budget for 2017/18 is around £11.6million, whereas the figure for the previous 12 months was £12.1million.
A fraction of the council’s transport budget is used for planned roadworks and repairs, including pothole fixing and road signs. Over half of local authorities in England have cut their budget for road maintenance.
Within the local councils who’ve cut budgets, spending on road maintenance has dropped by around £900,000, with the Greater London Authority making the biggest cut of £59.5million, whilst North Yorkshire has noticed the largest drop outside of the capital at £6.2million.
The cuts have also affected other areas of road maintenance, such as street lighting, school crossing patrols and road gritting during the winter months.
Around 200 councils are now looking to increase their income elsewhere to offset the road budget cuts, with some planning on gaining more income by increasing public parking prices and residential permits.
Westminster council anticipates raising an extra £12million this year thanks to parking revenue – more than any other local authority in England.
“It is clear that local authority budgets are being squeezed and highways budgets are almost the first in line to be cut,” said president of the AA, Edmund King.
Mr King also said that motorists are left frustrated with local councils, as the extra money gained from increased parking fees isn’t used to help improve the condition of many local roads.
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