The Local Government Association wants more money to repair and improve roads.
Councils have called for increased funding to manage congestion after motorists spent a combined total of a million years behind the wheel in 2016.
According to the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 370 councils across England and Wales, drivers in England covered 277 billion miles in 2016 - a 17.4 billion increase on 2010’s figures.
However, the organisation also says there is a ‘local road repairs backlog’ that would take £9.3 billion and 14 years of toil to clear.
As a result, the LGA has urged the government to invest in local roads, calling for an increase in funding for infrastructure, as well as new powers to better manage congestion.
The LGA says a ‘radical new strategy’ is required to cope with the growing number of vehicles on UK roads, and it has suggested raising the funds by ring-fencing a proportion of fuel duty. Councillor Martin Tett, the LGA’s transport spokesman, said that by setting aside 2p of existing tax per litre of fuel sold, the government could provide councils with £1 billion a year to maintain and improve local roads.
‘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,’ he said. ‘This 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 2p per litre of existing fuel duty into local road maintenance, which would generate £1 billion a year for councils to spend on improving roads.’