Fleet News

Pothole menace

Britain’s roads are blighted by more than three million potholes, with local authorities facing a huge backlog of much-need maintenance.

The number of trenches and road openings has also increased over the past year, according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s (AIA) annual road survey.

Local authorities across the country admitted to receiving only half the subsidies necessary to keep their roads in good condition.

The AIA found an 11-year backlog of local maintenance work, with an existing shortfall of more than £1 billion.

Jim Crick, AIA chairman, said: “Despite some increase in central Government funding
over recent years, it seems that highways maintenance is still suffering from
historically being treated as the Cinderella service.”

Stephen Kelly, head of urban access policy at the Freight Transport Association, criticised central Government’s lack of provision for local road maintenance.

He said: “The Government must increase the funding provided to local authorities in order that they are able to maintain their roads in a fit and proper condition, rather than on what seems to be the current ‘patch and mend’ basis.”

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “Good road surfaces help drivers stop more quickly when they have to brake sharply and reduce the risk of skidding.

“Roads shouldn’t be obstacle courses,” he said.

Last year the Government paid out more than £50 million in compensation to motorists as result of vehicle damage and injuries caused by potholes.


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