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£8 Billion of Extra Funding to Repair England’s Roads

Looking at the state of our ravaged roads, the Government’s announcement this week to allocate £8.3 billion for local road repairs comes as a welcomed investment. Take a look at how the funding will be divided up and explore the best practice resurfacing materials and techniques for pothole fixes that stay fixed for good.

Pothole problem in England
This week's funding boost could be enough to resurface 5,000 miles of roads

Funding allocation from Network North

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, announced earlier this week that £8.3 billion has been allocated to improve local roads across England. The money has come from Network North, a £36 billion plan to transform and improve the transport that people use every day. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak heralded the £8.3 billion boost as an unprecedented investment and the biggest-ever uplift for local road improvements. He said the investment will “pave the road for better and safer journeys for millions of people across the country and put an end to the blight of nuisance potholes”.

Although this extra funding is a substantial investment for resurfacing works, it is not nearly enough to cover what is needed to repair the country’s roads. 

In the 2023 ALARM survey, Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) estimated that more than £14 billion is required to fix the backlog of road repairs due to potholes. 

The independent survey also reported that local authority highway teams receive around two-thirds of the budget required to stop Britain’s roads from falling into further disrepair. 

An estimated 1 million potholes are said to be causing havoc on the UK’s roads, a conservative estimate made by the RAC earlier this year. In their 2022/23 Pothole Index, RAC reported a 20% increase in vehicles suffering damages due to potholes from the previous year, an overall total of 27,250 cases from their customers alone. 

“Drivers’ biggest bugbear of all is the poor condition of local roads,” said Simon Williams, head of policy at RAC, “so the fact the Government has found a significant additional pot of revenue should give councils the certainty of funding they need to plan proper long-term road maintenance, something we have been calling for many years.”

How the funding will be allocated

The financial boost to repair potholes will be allocated within England and is said to be enough to resurface over 5,000 miles of roads over the next 11 years. This extra funding is in addition to the £5.5 billion already apportioned to local authorities to tackle pothole problems up until 2025. 

Through the additional investment, local highway authorities will receive £150 million during this financial year, followed by another £150 million for 2024/25. The remainder of funding will be allocated through to 2034. 

The resurfacing funding will be divided up between these regions as follows: 

  • North West, North East and the Humber – £3.3 billion 
  • West Midlands and East Midlands – £2.2 billion 
  • East of England, South East, South West and London – £2.8 billion 

Williams from RAC commented, “We hope local authorities will use the money in the most effective way possible by resurfacing the very worst roads, keeping those in reasonable condition in better states for longer through surface dressing, and filling potholes as permanently as possible wherever necessary.”

Essential materials for permanent pothole repairs

Local authorities would be wise to invest this new funding in permanent pothole repair solutions to attempt to put a stop to the country’s escalating issues with damaged roads. 

While large resurfacing works are required for fixing severely damaged roads (and there will be a fair few of them on the snag list), potholes of up to 150mm in depth can be repaired with quality off-the-shelf repair mixes. 

Best practice formulas, in the form of rapid-setting cold-lay tarmacs and hot mastic mixes, are often used by highways contractors and local authorities to repair Type 3 & 4 roads, carriageways, heavily trafficked areas and junctions. 

Many of these mixes, such as Enviro Mastic, Instant Road Repair and Tough Patch, have been carefully formulated and tested to provide the required amount of skid and rut resistance.

Here are a few benefits of using an off-the-shelf product for reinstatements as opposed to larger scale operations using heavy duty machinary: 

  • Reassurance of industry-approved formulas that have been tried and tested  
  • For the most part, no heavy-duty equipment required
  • Faster repairs with shorter road closures and less disruption
  • Rapid-setting and can receive traffic immediately or within an hour or so
  • A range of grades offer the required skid and rut resistance for all types of roads
  • Some formulas can be applied during all weather conditions

Look for formulas that have been tested and approved by either the Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways (SROH) or by an industry product assessment or approval scheme.  

Enviro Mastic Application
SROH approved Enviro Mastic can be used on carriageways and ironworks

High-quality pothole repair solutions

Explore three popular pothole repair formulas for local and heavily trafficked roads, some of which are approved for use through an industry endorsed scheme. 

Tough Patch Rapid – 6mm or 10mm grade


PAS Certified 

A strong, hard wearing and fast-setting pothole repair formula that features a high skid and rut resistance. Tough Patch is used to fix defects of up to 100mm (10mm grade) or 60mm (6mm grade) in pathways, driveways, carparks, junctions, turning circles, and even on high speed roads. It can be used in all weathers. 

Tough Patch is a cold-lay tarmac that offers first-time permanent repair solutions for potholes. Once compacted, the area can be instantly opened to traffic and core tested after 24 hours.   

Tough Patch 6mm can be ordered online, in either a bag or tub. Please call us on 0330 122 1025 to order the 10mm grade.

Read the review on how Tough Patch beats other cold-lay tarmacs in terms of price and strength.

Instant Road Repair – 6mm and 10mm

HAPAS Approved

Instant Road Repair, otherwise known as IRR, is a first-time permanent cold-lay tarmac formula that has been approved by the Highways Authority Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS) since 2002.

IRR 10mm has been manufacturered specially for permanent repairs on type 3 and 4 roads, but can also be used to fix pathways and cycle tracks. After application the area can be opened instantly to pedestrians and vehicle traffic.

IRR 6mm, also HAPAS approved, can be used on foothpaths and cycle tracks.

Instant Road Repair 10mm

IRR 10mm is for fixing potholes of 30–100mm depth in Type 3 & 4 roads. HAPAS approved. Also available in 6mm aggregate.

Permanent Pothole Repair Wet (PPR Wet)


A fine-grade cold-lay tarmac with a skid resistance value of more than 88 SRV. Permanent Pothole Repair Wet offers a more durable result to standard PPR in wet and rainy conditions. It can be installed in trafficked areas including roads and driveways and carparks, come rain or shine. 

PPR Wet can be used to fix reinstatements of between 10mm and 100mm in depth. 

Enviro Mastic hot-lay tarmac

SROH Approved

Applied hot, Enviro Mastic rubber modified mastic asphalt offers long-term wear resistance and eliminates voids for high quality permanent repairs and installations. It can be used to repair reinstatements of between 50mm and 150mm in depth.

As an ideal surface patch repair for heavily trafficked areas, including carriageways, Enviro Mastic is also suited as a surfacing material surrounding road ironwork, gullies and other street furniture.

Enviro Mastic is a great choice for remote locations as it requires no mechanical compaction. All that is required is a small mastic mixer to heat the product to the required temperature.

Best practice for permanent reinstatements

To achieve permanent pothole repairs, contractors must follow best practice by saw cutting around the defect to ensure straight, vertical edges that allow the formula to be fully compacted. Apply the repair mix in layers for the best results in accordance with SROH. 

Failing to follow the best practice guidelines can compromise the formula and/or allow water ingress that can damage the reinstatement or even cause it to literally pop out. 

Follow these professional tips for permanent repairs: 

Equipment and materials

You will need: 

  • Pothole repair mix with the correct sized aggregate for the type of surface
  • Circular saw
  • Brush 
  • Shovel or rake
  • Bucket for removing dirt and debris
  • Cold joint spray (SCJ spray is HAPAS approved)
  • Hand tamp
  • Wacker plate (optional)
  • Overbanding tape (Instaband tape is HAPAS approved)
  • Blow torch to secure overbanding tape

Reinstatement best practice

Note: these instructions may differ depending on your formula of repair mix. Always read the instructions on the packaging. 

  1. Clear the pothole so it is free of dirt, debris and standing water
  2. Using a circular saw, cut a neat vertical ‘picture frame’ around the hole to create straight, vertical edges
  3. Remove the loose tarmac from the hole
  4. Apply a specialised cold joint spray (bitumen sealer) to the bottom and sides of the hole
  5. Pour in a layer of pothole repair mix (refer to the product’s instructions for the required depth of the first and subsequent layers)
  6. Compact with a hand tamp to the required compacted depth
  7. Apply more bitumen sealer to the bottom and vertical edges and repeat the layering process until the pothole is filled
  8. Once filled and fully compacted, use a blowtorch to secure overbanding tape to the open edges of the fixed pothole (this helps to prevent water ingress)
  9. With most repair formulas, the area can receive pedestrian and vehicle traffic immediately or within an hour or two

Any questions? Get in touch

If you’d like to discuss the options for professional pothole repair formulas that achieve permanent results – or to find out our discounts on bulk orders – drop us a message or call us on 0330 122 1025

The Paving Experts is a family-run hardscape supplies merchants based in the Midlands offering fast delivery across mainland UK and free delivery on full pallets and selected lines.

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