Delays to pothole repair as Ukraine war drives up prices

·2-min read
Pothole repair might be more difficult and expensive due to the war  (PA Archive)
Pothole repair might be more difficult and expensive due to the war (PA Archive)

Road repairs could take longer with the war in Ukraine driving up the price and reducing availability of key material bitumen.

Analysis by the Local Government Association has found many of the 350 councils it represents have been hit by a 22 per cent spike in the cost of highway maintenance.

Before the invasion of Ukraine in February, around 60 per cent of bitumen was sourced from Russia but the UK is now scrabbling to find the resource from other markets.

Local authorities were already facing a significant road repair backlog, with latest estimates stating it would take them 10 years and £12billion to bring all surfaces up to scratch.

Spiralling energy costs and inflation also mean there has been a 38 per cent increase in the bill for running and repairing street lights over the last six months.

Some authorities report that their costs in these areas have doubled.

The Local Government Association’s analysis was based on a survey of its members and current prices.

The organisation's transport spokesman David Renard said: "As this stark new analysis shows, councils across the country are facing unprecedented increased costs to repair our local roads, keep our street lights switched on and invest in improved local infrastructure.

"Global pressures, such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as well as increasing inflation and a shortage of materials, have all provided the perfect storm for councils and piled pressure on already stretched local budgets.

"To tackle this issue, the new Government must cover these increased costs for councils or risk road conditions 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."

Additional reporting by PA.