The RAC Foundation has claimed that there is ‘inadequate funding available for local road maintenance’ after new figures show drivers across Great Britain made more than 31,000 claims for vehicle damage caused by poor road conditions during the last financial year.
Published on 13 October, the analysis is based on data collected from 204 of the 207 local authorities in Great Britain.
The figure equates to a ‘pothole’ claim being submitted every 17 minutes.
The council with the highest number of claims made against it was Hampshire (1,952), followed by Surrey (1,412) and Hertfordshire (1,369). The average value of a claim was £432.
However, councils only paid out in just over a quarter (26.9%) of cases, at an average of £306.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “These figures are symptomatic of the inadequate funding available for local road maintenance.
“Year in, year out, the backlog of work on local roads is estimated to run to several billion pounds.
“A pitted road surface isn’t just a problem for motorists – for those on two wheels it can be life threatening.
“Just last week the Chancellor acknowledged that there had been decades of underfunding in the nation’s infrastructure and that he was keen to support targeted, value-for-money public investment. Providing the funds to fix our roads would be a great place to start and would show rapid results.”
In August, the RAC published analysis of its pothole-related call-outs from the last 10 years, which it says provides ‘strong evidence’ that the quality of Britain’s roads has deteriorated substantially.
The analysis, which compares pothole-related breakdowns to all other types of call-out, shows a 125% increase from 2006 to 2016 in the proportion of vehicle breakdowns where poor road surfaces were likely to be a contributory factor.
In April, the Government announced it would provide £50m during this financial year to enable more than 100 councils across England to repair 943,000 potholes.
The money was delivered as part of the £250m ‘Pothole Action Fund’ which will be used to repair more than four million potholes by 2020/21.
Research by the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s (AIA), published in March, estimated that the ‘one-time cost’ to get roads in England and Wales back into reasonable condition is now £11.8bn.
Photo: _chrisUK via Flickr. Use under Creative Commons.