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10.03.16

Councils call for more roads funding as AA criticises pothole levels

High pothole damage levels have led to the AA criticising local councils’ approach to road maintenance, but the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that this is because of a lack of funding.

The results of an AA survey found that 39% of members had suffered damage caused by potholes to their cars, including their tyres, wheels, tracking and suspension, in the past year.

Edmund King, the AA’s president, criticised local councils’ record on road maintenance, saying that in 2013-14 there was a £273m reduction in expenditure.

King said: “Austerity-driven cuts in highway maintenance budgets just delay the inevitable – crumbling roads, vehicle damage and then emergency maintenance. As a priority, local authorities need to get to grips with fundamental road maintenance such as poor drainage and fixing crumbling and pothole-ridden surfaces.

“Cynically, drivers may be beginning to wonder if excessive traffic calming is actually more about trying to reduce the impact and subsequent compensation claims when vehicles and bicycles fall in the potholes that appear every winter.”

But Cllr Peter Box, the LGA’s spokesperson on transport, said that although councils fix one pothole every 15 seconds, they only have the resources to keep up with current problems, not to fix a £12bn road repair backlog that would take more than a decade to clear.

“Long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance is desperately needed in the Budget to improve road conditions for all users,” said Cllr Box.

Research from the Passenger Transport Executive Group, released last year, found that local roads only get a third of the funding given to highways for each kilometre.

King also said: “The AA calls on the chancellor to set aside some ‘back to basics’ extra funding to fix UK roads”, adding that the funding could come out of money raised from fuel duty, VAT, car tax and insurance premium tax.

The AA research also found that the worst regions in the UK for pothole damage are Scotland, with 46% of drivers suffering damage in the past two years, and Yorkshire and Humberside, with 41%.

In London and East Anglia, the areas with the best records, 32% and 33% of drivers still reported pothole damage.

(Image c. Danny Lawson from PA Wire)

Comments

Hard Hit Motorist   10/03/2016 at 18:37

If local authorities had kept pace with road repairs prior to funding reductions this situation wouldn't have arisen. Time to dig up the speed ramps and use the tarmac to fill the potholes. The motorist should take a leaf from the cyclists book. Whinge and whine at every opportunity and thinks might get done.

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