Sanctions bring discoveries: There will be no repair of British roads without Russian bitumen?

10:50 03.09.2022 •

New analysis by the LGA and the Association for Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) has estimated that the cost of filling potholes and building new roads have soared, causing pressure on stretched council budgets and delaying works.

The cost of road maintenance has also increased, with a number of councils seeing a 22 per cent increase in the cost of repairing a pothole, relaying a road surface and other maintenance costs.

Prior to the war in Ukraine, an estimated 60 per cent of bitumen, a material used to repair roads across the country, was sourced from Russia and sold onto the European market. Since then, councils have had to ration the supply of the material and source it from other markets, than Russian, pushing up costs and delaying road repairs.

The LGA, who represent over 350 councils in England and Wales, are calling on the incoming Prime Minister to urgently help meet these additional cost pressures in full as part of any new budget measures introduced.

Local councils are already facing a significant road repair backlog, with latest estimates suggesting it would take them 10 years and £12 billion to bring local roads up to scratch. These increased cost pressures could risk that backlog getting longer, with vital works having to be delayed.

Cllr David Renard, Transport spokesperson for the LGA said: “Global pressures, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as increasing inflation and a shortage of materials have all provided the perfect storm and piled pressure on already stretched local budgets.”