Bill to bring Norfolk’s roads up to a decent standard would be £7m

A new report has highlighted the cost of fixing potholes in the region's roads. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY.

A new report has highlighted the cost of fixing potholes in the region's roads. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY. - Credit: � ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHI

It would cost almost £7m to bring Norfolk's roads up to a decent standard, council bosses have revealed, as a report showed one in six of the region's roads will need to be repaired within the next five years.

An annual study of roads across the country estimated one-time cost to get roads in the East into reasonable condition was £854.9m and £12.06bn for England and Wales as a whole.

The findings are reported in this year's Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey, compiled by the Asphalt Industry Alliance.

Norfolk County Council says the overall backlog for highways in total, including roads, bridges, traffic signals and drainage was just under £49m as of June last year, with a £6.9m road surfaces backlog.

The council said it had spent £17m on all road repairs in 2016/17, including surfacing, surface dressing, patching and potholes.

The authority said 6,770 potholes were filled in the past year, but a spokesman for the council said: 'Ideally we would like to be able to spend £5m to £10m more a year to improve the county's roads.

'The highway network is fundamental to the local economy as it plays a major part in every aspect of our lives.

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'An effective network enables everyone to move around the county more easily for access to work, key services and leisure.

'Our goal is to provide a value for money highway service, while continuing to provide a safe highway network and maintaining public satisfaction.'

The Department for Transport has committed £6bn for English councils to improve local roads over the current Parliament, in addition to a £50m-a-year fund specifically for tackling potholes.

Norfolk received a £34m grant from the department and has successfully bid for funding from other sources, such as to carry out drainage improvements in and around Norwich.

The Local Government Association, which represents local councils, has called for road repairs to be made 'a national priority'.

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