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Motorists drive the equivalent of 989 return trips to Mars on roads in England a year

Drivers in England spent more than 1 million years on the road in total in 2016, travelling 277 billion miles, the same as 989 trips to Mars and back.

With the number of miles driven in 2016 up by 17.4 billion miles compared with 2010, two thirds of which is spent on local roads, the Local Government Association said the figures highlight the urgent need for real investment by the Government into local roads.

It would already take £9.3 billion and over 14 years for councils to clear the current local road repairs backlog. The LGA, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, is calling on the Government to recognise the need to match the increased infrastructure pressures and demand on our local roads with additional funds.

Council leaders are calling for the Government to carry out a radical new strategy to provide a fully-funded plan for the growing number of vehicles on the nation’s roads, as well as new powers to better manage congestion. This needs to include reinvesting 2 pence per litre of existing fuel duty which would generate £1 billion a year for councils to spend on local roads maintenance.

This would allow councils to improve road surfaces and reduce congestion, allowing everyone to complete their journeys quicker and with less stress, meaning fewer hours driving and more time getting on with their day.

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA Transport spokesman, said:

“The amount of time that drivers in the UK are spending on our roads continues to sky-rocket, with motorists driving the equivalent of 989 trips to Mars and back, two thirds of which were on local roads. This consistent increasing use of our roads means that it is more important than ever for the Government to further invest in local roads.

“Only long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance will allow councils to embark on the widespread improvement of our roads that is desperately needed, to the benefit of all road users up and down the country.

“The LGA has been calling on the Government to reinvest 2 pence per litre of existing fuel duty into local road maintenance which would generate £1 billion a year for councils to spend on improving roads and filling potholes and begin addressing the £9.31 billion roads repair backlog.”

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