Figures show how major cities like Nottingham and Leicester are getting a raw deal when it comes to the Government handing out money to repair potholes – just £1.86 per head for Nottingham compared to £13.82 per head in rural Rutland.
Statistics from the Government’s Pothole Action Fund show how Nottingham will receive £605,000 to repair potholes between 2016 and 2021 for a population of 325,300 – while nearby Rutland with a population of just 38,600 receives £539,000.
This means that Rutland is funded to the tune of £13.82 per head, while Nottingham gets just £1.86 per head – one of the lowest figures in the country. Hertfordshire receives £13.38, Shropshire £15.84. It follows a change in the way Government allocates funding for potholes – basing it on the length of roads in the area instead of the condition of roads determined by usage.
The news comes as the Local Government Association urges the Government to re-balance the way funding is handed out, after it revealed the Government spends £1.1m per mile on the main road network it controls compared to only £21,000 per mile for roads maintained by local councils.
It is another example of how the Government has generally treated cities like Nottingham unfairly in its funding allocations losing Nottingham has lost £564 per household from its main Government funding – a cut of two-thirds since 2013 – compared with Surrey which has lost only £44 per household.
Nottingham City Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Graham Chapman, said: “Once again, the Government is lavishing affluent rural areas that don’t need it as much with funding, while leaving cities like Nottingham struggling.
“It is manifestly unfair on Nottingham and doesn’t make any sense when a city of Nottingham’s size attracts significantly more traffic than rural Rutland. That’s down to a nonsensical decision by Government to allocate funding based on the length of roads rather than the amount of traffic, which clearly favours rural areas over urban areas where most of the traffic is.
“Good transport networks are essential for the running of the economy. Distributing money politically is not a responsible way of managing a road network when there is insufficient funding and roads are deteriorating to the extent they are.”