British Queen celebrates


Labour has committed to funding local councils to repair up to a million potholes each year in England. The party announced it would provide "multi-year funding

settlements to local leaders" to address damaged roads, aiming to eliminate what it described as a "sticking plaster approach" to road maintenance.

The Conservative Party responded by stating it would "take no lectures" on supporting drivers, criticizing Labour for allegedly waging a "war on motorists across Britain." The government has already committed £8.3 billion to road repairs from now until 2034, as outlined in the Tory manifesto released on Tuesday.

Labour's plan includes an additional £320 million over five years, funded by postponing the planned A27 Arundel bypass in Sussex. This road upgrade was delayed last year until at least 2025, with Labour not specifying if or when it would resume the project.

Labour's analysis suggested that pothole damage cost drivers nearly £500 million last year, with the average repair bill around £250. To expedite road repairs, the party promised to reduce planning barriers and ensure that crucial infrastructure upgrades are completed on time and within budget.

Additionally, Labour pledged to address rising car insurance costs by ensuring regulators tackle the root causes of increasing prices.

Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh criticized the Conservatives for neglecting motorists, claiming that "Labour is the only party truly on the side of drivers." She accused the government of allowing Britain's roads to be "plagued with potholes" and of failing to control escalating car insurance costs.

“We will make our roads safer for all who use them and remove the barriers which bog down our planning system, speeding up infrastructure improvements and cutting costs for taxpayers,” Haigh asserted.

In their manifesto, the Conservatives pledged to accelerate some of the previously announced £8.3 billion to address potholes in England. A Tory spokesperson countered Labour's plans by highlighting policies such as blanket 20mph speed limits and the expansion of London's ultra-low emissions zone, accusing Labour of prioritizing an "eco zealot agenda" over motorists.

“Only the Conservatives have a clear plan and are taking bold action to back Britons on the road,” the spokesperson added. “Labour would take us right back to square one.”

Motoring groups have noted that this year has been particularly problematic for potholes, which can cause expensive damage and pose dangers to motorists and cyclists. Between 2012 and 2022, poor or defective roads contributed to the deaths of 20 cyclists and seriously injured 470 others, according to Department for Transport figures analyzed by PA news agency.

The AA, a roadside assistance firm, identified potholes as the most critical transport issue for drivers. Photo by Beware of potholes on Philip Lane, Hambleton by Ian S, Wikimedia commons.