Russia led invasion of Ukraine causing pothole peril in the UK

The Local Government Authority is claiming that the Russia led invasion of Ukraine is preventing pothole repair work as costs increase

Russia led invasion of Ukraine causing pothole peril in the UK

THE war between Russia and Ukraine is being touted as the reason for much of the financial trouble the UK finds itself in. Tagged on to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, it really is not what any of us needed right now.

But aside from the obvious after effects, like higher gas, electricity bills and fuel costs, the war between Russia and Ukraine is being felt in more wide-reaching areas.

One of the areas that are being reported to have been hit hard by the conflict is road building and repair. The RAC reports that around 60% of the bitumen used to build new roads, and repair ones that look like Swiss cheese, was bought from Russia. With trade embargos on the nation now in force, the cost of carrying out these repairs is said to have risen, with the Local Government Association (LGA) claiming a 22 per cent increase.

A study carried out by the LGA concluded that prior to the Russia led Invasion, the UK’s pothole problems would have taken ten years to rectify, costing around £12 billion in total. And it isn’t just those crater-like tyre-killing voids that are costing more to fix. With out-of-control utility costs, the bill for fixing street lighting has spiralled up by 38 per cent.

Russia Ukraine war increasing pothole repair costs

David Renard, a spokesperson for the LGA, thinks more help is needed. “The new government must cover these increased costs for councils or risk road conditions getting worse,” he said, “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.”

This help is not likely to come quickly for local councils, as the LGA also states that funding for local road maintenance in 2021 and 2022 currently sits at £1.39 billion – a reduction of £400 million compared to the previous year. In response to the drop in funding, the LGA wants the Spending Review to cough up £500 million, to help fix the backlog and tackle new problems.

“With long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance in the Spending Review, councils can embark on the widespread improvement of our roads that is desperately needed, to the benefit of all road users up and down the country, including cyclists,” Renard concluded.

You can read more on the Asphalt Industry Survey of UK potholes here.

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