Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove & Talke successfully secured a debate in Parliament yesterday (3 November) about the unfair funding formula for pot-hole repairs.
Currently, the formula used by the government to allocate pot-hole repairs is based on length of A-roads. Meaning county councils receive more annual grant for pot-hole repairs than cities, even though cities have higher road usage.
The formula means that Stoke-on-Trent receives only £200,000 annually for pot-hole repairs from government, whilst Staffordshire County Council receives over £1 million annually.
In the Westminster Hall Debate, Jonathan Gullis MP said, "Pot-holes drive us potty in the Potteries."
"Heavy traffic has been an exasperating problem for the city for two key reasons: first, because it causes damage to roads that were not laid to carry it, and secondly, because maintenance funding from the Department for Transport is not calculated according to traffic incidents but on road length."
"I, therefore, suggest that it is not unreasonable to ask that a revised or bolt-on formula should be taken into account."
"Funding calculations should show due regard for road type, with principal A roads attracting a premium in some way related to their reported condition, and with traffic incidents also taken into account."
Neighbouring Member of Parliament for Stoke Central, Jo Gideon, agreed with Jonathan about the need for a fair formula for pot-hole repairs.
"Resurfacing of key sections of the Stoke-on-Trent road network has been a great benefit across the city, and that we need more of it."
Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the highways authority responsible for roads in the city, welcomed the debate in Parliament.
Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Councillor Daniel Jellyman, has pressed for a fair formula for pot-hole repairs for some years.
"The city council is determined to get our road network in a fit and healthy condition. We are in the middle of a £20 million investment into the city's roads and pavements over these four years, the biggest investment into highway repairs the council has ever made."
"The reason we have to spend council money is partly due to the unfairness in this national formula. I welcome this debate in Parliament by Jonathan Gullis, as it is something we have been trying to get attention from government for several years."
"Hopefully this debate will help us in our campaign for a fairer funding for pot-hole repairs, a calculation based on the usage of the highway rather than just the length of it."
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Rachel Maclean MP, responded to the debate.
"It is essential that pot-holes and defects are repaired correctly the first time to make our roads fit for the future."
"The Government's national guidance is helping authorities to apply best practice in that crucial work."
"We all want our local road network to be improved, and that is why the Department has provided over £7.1 billion in local highways maintenance funding between 2015 and 2021."