Local councils are reporting that pothole repair and new road costs have spiralled by 21% and 22% respectively in the last six months. While the cost of running and repairing street lights has risen 38%
New analysis by the Local Government Association and the Association for Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) reveals that stretched council budgets will lead to delays in new works unless extra funding is released by the Government.
Prior to the war in Ukraine, an estimated 60% of bitumen was sourced from Russia and sold onto the European market.
Since the Russian invasion, councils have had to ration the supply of the material and source it from other markets, pushing up costs and delaying road repairs.
Councils are also reporting that increasing costs for electricity, steel, lighting and cement are all impacting on their budgets.
As well as this, areas preparing for winter have been hit by an increase of 60% in the cost of salt.
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 £12bn to bring local roads up to scratch.
These increased cost pressures could risk the backlog getting longer, with vital works having to be delayed.
Mark Kemp, President of ADEPT said: “Current inflation rates are having a massive impact on major capital schemes.
“Local authorities are doing all we can to identify additional funding to meet rising costs, but without a change to funding allocations from government, the funding gap problems that lie with local councils will worsen dramatically, increasing the risk of some schemes failing.”
Cllr David Renard, Transport spokesperson for the LGA said: “To tackle this issue, the new Government must cover these increased costs for councils or risk roads condition getting worse or reductions in other services.
“Only with adequate long term funding – to cover increased cost pressures and invest in local services – and the right powers, can councils deliver for our communities, tackle the climate emergency, and level up all parts of the country.”