Britain’s roads are “national embarrassment”

12.00 | 13 February 2013 | | 5 comments

Motorists are facing “catastrophic” conditions on Britain’s roads as councils are hopelessly trying to patch up potholes despite a lack of funds, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned (Telegraph).

Councillor Peter Box, chairman of the LGA transport board, said decades of under-funding by central Government and appalling weather conditions has left miles of road in a dangerous condition.

He warned that further extensive flooding or severe winters could have “catastrophic consequences” for the nation’s roads if councils are not given the necessary funding to upgrade their carriageways and escape “the false economy of chasing potholes."

His comments came as a survey by the AA found a third of drivers suffered pothole damage to their vehicles.

Cllr Box said: “Under funding by Whitehall, severe winters and last year’s widespread flooding has left large swathes of our roads in disrepair with many councils struggling to move beyond simply patching up a deteriorating network.”

Councils have tackled millions of potholes in the last two years to keep roads safe and passable and many councils are using new technology and extra funds to tackle the new batch of potholes, reports the Telegraph.

However, Cllr Box said councils need “increased and consistent funding” to invest in resurfacing projects in order to see a long-term improvement.

The AA’s survey of 22,827 members found that drivers in Scotland suffered worst from potholes, where 44% said they had suffered damage to their vehicles.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “The fact that one third of our members have had their car damaged by potholes is a damning indictment of the state of our roads – they’re a national embarrassment.”

Click here to read the full Telegraph report.


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    I was quite pleased to hear from Honor that there is proportional representation of motorcyclists within the framework of road safety engineers and other such qualified staff concerned with matters of road safety.

    But then I remembered that this is only 1% of all (road users). It makes me then wonder what position they may find themselves in and as to whether they are able to make a difference, being so few (in number) that is. I think not.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    I hear what you are saying Honor, but this problem has been around for a lot longer than the present economic crisis.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    There are as many motorcyclists and cyclists among highway engineers as any other group. The issue is that the restricted funding and recent weather conditions combine to impair all maintenance not just filling potholes.

    Honor Byford, North Yorkshire
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    What councils don’t understand is that potholes are only a small part of the problem to the twv rider, such as myself.

    A safe motorcyclists should be able to miss many (if not all) of the potholes but it’s the aggregate or debris that comes out of potholes that are flung all over the road in a wide area that can be the real problem.

    It’s not just potholes either. Any degredation of the road surface under normal wear and tear does leave aggregates strewn all over the place.

    The majority of twv accidents happen in towns and I am sure some are due to this missunderstanding of the danger.

    bob craven Lancs
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    “A third of drivers have suffered damage to their cars…” Wait until summer when the motorcyclists start coming out again. Some of the potholes I’ve seen this winter could well kill motorcyclists!

    Dale from Sutton
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