RSTA: Invest in roads to improve economy

The Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) has called on the government to fully recognise the social and economic benefits of a well-maintained road network.

Chief executive Howard Robinson (pictured) said: “The government needs to work with local highway authorities to develop and implement long-term funding mechanisms that encourage proper programmes of planned maintenance rather than reactive patch-and-mend. As part of this there should be the implementation of analytical mechanisms and economic methodology to assess the costs and benefits of a well-maintained road network. The road network is the country’s greatest asset and as such should command appropriate investment.”

Recognising the growing anger of motorists the Conservative manifesto for the recent election pledged enough funding to fix around 18 million potholes nationwide between 2015 and 2021.

But the RSTA has warned that there will continue to be real constraints on core revenue funding with councils being faced with reduced budgets and ever-increasing demands.

Robinson added: “By working with the road maintenance industry the government can learn how to achieve more for less. They should also ensure the adoption of the initiatives forwarded by the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP) and realise the benefits of asset management. For its part, the road surface industry should continue to further develop best practice and new products that deliver long-term performance and optimum road surface solutions.

“The condition of the roads provides a visible indication of the state of a country’s social wellbeing and economic performance. If the government wishes to persuade voters that these are improving then it should invest in a better, well-maintained road network.”


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