large pothole in suburban road
A giant pothole on Timbercroft Lane in Plumstead, pictured on Monday

Greenwich councillors have called on the government to make sure London has the same funding to deal with its potholes as the rest of the country, with the borough’s streets in a state of “managed decline” because of a lack of cash.

London boroughs get no regular funding from the government to maintain their roads, unlike the councils in rest of England. In 2018 a grant given to TfL for main roads was withdrawn, depriving Greenwich of about £900,000 in funding.

Two years ago, the backlog of highway repairs was estimated at £1 billion across London, and last December, council officers said in a report that the borough’s roads were now in a state of “managed decline”, meaning that “there is planned maintenance, but repair and renewal is below the level needed to maintain the current level of service”.

Councillors say that they are now missing out on up to £4 million in funding over three years when compared with the money given to authorities outside the capital.

A motion put before the council last night called for London boroughs to be given the same cash as those outside the capital.

Proposing the motion, Charlton Hornfair councillor Lakshan Saldin said the situation had “placed further stress on our already overstretched budgets”.

“If we were to receive the same funding as outside of London, we would be benefiting to the tune of £4 million, which would almost double our highways budget,” Saldin said.

“We’re calling upon the council to write to the government to request that we be treated in the same way, as fairly as rest of England.”

The motion was backed by the Conservatives too – but with criticism of Transport for London. Opposition leader Matt Hartley said: “We do need more highways maintenance funding in Greenwich. I’m pretty agnostic as to where that comes from.

“Even though we are supportive of the motion, Sadiq Khan has an enormous budget. TfL’s budget is something like £9 billion.

“As well as lobbying for that change to government funding, which I agree with, and I’ll be voting for, I do think we need to get a better deal for Greenwich out of TfL across the board.”

The motion was passed unanimously.

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