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Potholes are the number one priority for councils

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The top road safety priority for local councillors is improving road surfaces and reducing potholes, according to a survey conducted by road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

Almost three-quarters (74%) of councillors placed potholes in their top five road-safety priorities, while 61% think that the budgets for repairing them will decrease or stay the same.

More than half (58%) of local councillors agree that budget cuts are having a negative impact on roads and road safety, with one in four councillors strongly agreeing.

Although councillors agreed that transport was a priority half of them thought that their transport budget would reduce in the next year.

Other key findings include:

• 59% of councillors support 20mph speed limits, with 15% supporting 20mph for most urban roads.

• 29% of councillors think that the government’s policies have been bad for road safety.

• Councillors in the north of England are more likely to say they anticipate spending reductions while councillors in the south and east of England are less likely to report reductions in their transport budgets.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “It’s good to see that potholes are councillors’ top priority as this is a big concern for motorists. More must be done to fix our roads before the backlog of repairs becomes unmanageable.

“The results show that different political parties offer the electorate real choice on their transport priorities.

“Conservative councillors are more likely to focus on road building, road surfaces and car parking, while Labour councillors appear to be more likely to prioritise road safety and the use of public transport. Liberal Democrats are more likely to focus on cycling and walking.

“Councillors say that road safety is a priority so they must put up a stronger fight to protect road safety budgets. 

“It’s also clear that there is a need to set up smart new targets that will help everyone in road safety focus on the highest risk groups in society.”

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