A feature in the new issue of Driving magazine - the bi-monthly publication for Diamond advanced drivers - looks at the reasons for the pothole-ridden state of the nation's roads and their impact on motorists.
Using figures from the Asphalt Industry Alliance's Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) Survey, Driving concludes that while the £9.5bn needed to fix the damaged roads in England and Wales is a very large sum, especially in light of the current government's strategy for reducing the national deficit, motorists are justified in expecting some payback for all the money they contribute annually to the exchequer. With over £40bn going to the government's coffers in 2009 from a combination of vehicle excise duty, fuel duty, plus VAT on fuel duty and new car sales, it's not unreasonable to expect the roads to be repaired to a condition that is at least comparable to those of our European neighbours.
Mike Frisby, Diamond chief examiner commented: "Numerous surveys have shown that the road-going public consistently thinks that improving our roads should be a priority for transport expenditure. But successive governments have been less keen on spending revenue taken from motorists' wallets in a way that will benefit them - and also the economy as a whole. Not only do we now need remedial work to be undertaken as a matter of urgency, but the UK government also has to prioritise and fund a programme of planned maintenance on a long-term basis."