Latest ALARM survey reports

This year marks the 28th successive ALARM survey and we received a record number of responses from 75% of local authorities, who have been working against a backdrop of increased costs caused by rising inflation, more extreme weather events, increased traffic volumes and an ageing network.

As a result, ALARM findings make bleak reading. More than £14 billion is now needed to fix the backlog of carriageway repairs in England and Wales – the highest it has been – and the funding gap between what local authority highway teams receive and what they say they need is still widening, with dire results for road users. It is clear that, while welcome, the £200 million announced in yesterday’s Spring Budget is welcome, it is just not enough to improve overall structural conditions and stem further decline.

The press release includes key findings on the report as well as comments from industry bodies including the Local Government Association, RAC, AA and British Cycling.

ALARM 2023 at a glance:

  • Local authorities would have needed an average of an extra £7.7 million each last year just to reach their own target road conditions.
  • It would now cost £14.02 billion to tackle the backlog and bring the network up to a standard from which it can be maintained efficiently and cost effectively going forward.
  • While half (51%) of local roads are reported to be in good structural condition, the remainder, more than 100,000 miles, could, without appropriate maintenance measures, continue to deteriorate to the point of needing to be rebuilt within the next 15 years.
  • 18% of the network (almost 37,000 miles) is already assessed as having less than 5 years’ structural life remaining.
  • One pothole is filled the equivalent of every 22 seconds.
  • Roads are only resurfaced on average once every 116 years.