The Department for Transport (DfT) has allocated £500 million to local authorities in England for highways maintenance.

This funding could fix the equivalent of 10 million potholes across the country, as the average pothole costs around £50 to fill in.  

This money is part of a wider funding plan from the DfT for road maintenance that totals over £1.1 billion across England for 2021/22. The £500 million is the second instalment from the £2.5 billion Potholes Fund, providing £500 million a year between 2020/21 and 2024/25, announced by the Chancellor in the 2020 Budget.

The DfT has previously allocated £296m through the Pothole Action Fund, which ran from 2015/16 to 2020/21.

Transport minister Baroness Vere commented on the need to deal with potholes: “We know potholes are more than just a nuisance – they can be dangerous to drivers and cyclists alike, and cause damage to thousands of vehicles every year.

“The funding allocated today will help councils ensure roads in their area are kept up to standard, and that the potholes that blight road users can be dealt with promptly”.

The RAC recently revealed its patrols attended almost 1,500 call outs in the last three months of 2020 for pothole related breakdowns.

The RAC said this is concerning given the lower traffic volumes brought about by coronavirus travel restrictions. In theory, less traffic should mean less damage to road surfaces, however analysis of RAC breakdowns in 2020’s fourth quarter revealed 1,461 call outs for damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs, and distorted wheels reveals, representing nearly 1% (0.9%) of all RAC attendances.

While the pothole proportion of all RAC breakdowns was down on the previous quarter, it was identical to the same period in 2019 and slightly higher than 2018 (0.8%).