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Road repairs 'will cost £10.65bn'

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A new report by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) shows that £10.65 billion would be needed to allow local councils in England and Wales to fix the damage on their roads.

The latest estimate by the local authorities is £1.15 billion higher than the amount estimated last year.

Roads that are in poor condition put motorists at an increased risk of accidents and higher car insurance premiums.

The report said there was an £895 million shortfall in the amount received by the councils to maintain their highways in 2011, which was 12% higher than last year.

Over 2.2 million potholes were repaired in 2010/11, up 59% on 2009/10.

Highways engineers said a fifth of local roads in England were considered to be in poor condition, with the figure for London being as high as 25%.

In Wales, 17% of local roads were considered to be in a poor condition.

The estimated time for clearing the backlog for English councils (excluding London) was 11 years, while for London it was nine years and for Welsh councils it was 14 years.

Under-funding of highway maintenance programmes is believed by 90% of local authorities to create a threat to road-user safety.

The report said most authorities in England and Wales were unable to make good the damage caused at the beginning of 2010 before the snow fell again at the end of the year.

© Press Association 2011