Last night I was on BBC North West talking about the potholes in our city.
I am pleased to say that a new £1m programme of pothole repairs is now underway across Liverpool. 20 teams of contractors were sent out at the beginning of this week to tackle some of the worst potholes in our roads. In contrast we normally have 2 teams out at any one time.
And I am still deeply concerned by the state of our roads, because Government is simply not providing enough funding – while cutting our overall budget by 64%.
That’s why I have been making our own arrangements in Liverpool to raise money and invest but as you can see below, without government support we are struggling:
- Last year, in 2017 we fixed 9,600 roads and £93m will have been spent by the council repairing potholes since 2014.
- However, a huge backlog of road repairs remain which will cost £430m.
- But Government only give us around £4m a year for our roads. You can read more about that here: http://www.liverpoolexpress.co.uk/pothole-blitz/
- I have committed £5m from the sale of the old Municipal Buildings in Dale Street to fund a programme of pothole repairs.
- We have a special website, so that you can see which streets are being treated on a weekly schedule http://liverpool.gov.uk/potholeupdate
On top of this we are investing more than £300m in city’s road infrastructure to future proof the growth of the City over the coming decades, such as improvements to A565 and Dock road to support the new Cruise Terminal, the Ten Streets District and the new football stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.
But Government should be doing more to help. And a lot more than the pathetic £800,00o it told the BBC it was giving to the city region this year!!
On average there is 1 car for every 2 people in the UK, so it is reasonable to believe that there are around 200,000 cars in Liverpool. If they pay £140 standard rate vehicle tax, this would raise £30m just in Liverpool for Government – not being spent locally.
But let’s not forget that nationally the Government also raises £27 BILLION from fuel tax. I know this obviously goes into the general public purse and is being spent on other priorities, but it is clear that vehicles raise more than enough money to pay for road repairs.
Poor roads and potholes affect our economy, making it difficult to do business and giving a poor impression.
I also think that our citizens deserve better and that’s why I will continue to raise the issue and make sure Government know what the impact is of their decision to starve local government of funding.