Road Safety News
 

Motorists unhappy with roads maintenance

Thursday 10th April 2014

In a poll published today (10 April) by the IAM, 67% of respondents said they think that the Government is doing a “bad or a very bad job” of maintaining the nation’s roads - and 52% said the same about local councils.

The IAM says that the poll of 1,000 drivers indicates a “clear lack of communication between the motoring public and local councils”.  34% of respondents said that they thought their council is cutting spending on road maintenance while 60% said they didn’t know if budgets are being cut. The IAM suggests that this shows that “councils are performing poorly on informing and engaging with local residents”. 

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “Despite the Government’s pothole review, there is a high level of dissatisfaction with the efforts of authorities to keep our roads safe and smooth drive or ride on.

“The Government needs to convince motorists that they have a real cure for the pothole pandemic. This can only be achieved through clear communication on new policies, more sharing of resources, sustained long-term funding and a continued commitment to eradicating the maintenance backlog of crumbling British roads.”

The IAM has published a series of tips to help drivers “avoid the risks associated with potholes”. These include: leaving plenty of room between the vehicle in front in order to see the road surface; and avoiding suddenly pulling out to avoid a pothole in case there is a motorcyclist or oncoming vehicle.

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Bob is correct; we have a highway network in poor condition – with a massive backlog in repairs and maintenance. This truly huge issue is the result of successive governments having pared back maintenance budgets – all those years of “invisible” cuts are now all too visible.

This is a fundamental safety issue - potholes and poor surfaces are safety hazards.

Here in North Yorkshire, we need £60m each year to maintain our roads: central government allows us £25m per year. We have a backlog of accumulated repairs and maintenance of £350m. We have been offered an additional £5m this year with a possible further amount. Very welcome but a drop in the ocean against the scale of this problem.

Even if the money appeared overnight, our engineering and management teams and the civil engineering industry would have to gear up massively in order to deliver - and there is a limit to how many roadworks the network can carry at any one time.
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

Agree (11) | Disagree (0)
+11

Don't forget that we are talking about 10's of billions of pounds and at least 10 to 12 years to bring the road structure up to satisfactory condition. Put that against the measly £32,000,000 that local authorities have paid out in one year and there is no contest.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)
+7