Fleet News

Potholes give councils a bumpy ride

A third of drivers have had their cars damaged by a pothole, according to the latest poll from road safety charity the IAM.

A further 16% have been involved in, or have seen an accident caused by a road user hitting a pothole. Of the 2,600 respondents, 88% voted pothole repair the top priority for local council maintenance.

Only 14% of people think that their council’s current performance maintaining local roads is good or very good, with more than half rating it as bad or very bad.

When asked what areas of road maintenance were being done well, 50% responded ‘none’, while half also think that the roads in their area are getting worse.

Overall, Welsh respondents are the happiest with council road maintenance, with 27% rating performance as good. Respondents from the South East are the least happy with local road maintenance, with only 10% rating it as good, although Londoners were an exception to this – 18% rated their council as good.

Many comments suggested that local government spending cuts are the cause of these problems – respondents weren’t just negative about the authorities themselves.

Keeping foliage and grass cut back to preserve visibility, and annual surface dressing of worn out roads, were the second and third most important maintenance factors, at 64% and 58% respectively.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “The public is unhappy with the state of their roads, although many realise that spending cuts are the real problem. Overall, 80% of those polled thought that local councils should work more closely together to increase efficiency and with no loosening of the public purse strings in sight it will take partnerships to ensure the backlog in road maintenance does not continue to stack up.”

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