Latest Public Sector News

10.10.13

Potholes cover 295 square miles of Britain

There is a pothole for nearly every mile of road in Great Britain, new research shows. 

It comes as an ICM poll for the BBC has showed that while the public generally think the quality of public services has been maintained or improved in the past five years despite austerity measures, 66% think road maintenance has got worse. 

Separate research by Britannia Rescue shows that councils have paid out £2.5m in compensation to drivers due to potholes, settling 32,600 claims over the last financial year. The area covered by potholes equals 295 square miles, FoI requests found. 

Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the Local Government Association said: “It is unsurprising that the cracks are starting to appear in public satisfaction around the state of our roads and elderly care. 

“A shortage of funding and increasing demand is making it impossible to maintain adult social care services at current levels let alone to try and raise standards of care while our roads are crumbling under a £10.5bn repair backlog caused by decades of underinvestment.

“Unless local government finance is put on a sustainable footing, these figures will only head in one direction as the noticeable impact of cuts to services becomes a reality for all residents.” 

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We recently announced £12bn for road maintenance. The condition of local roads is the responsibility of local highway authorities. 

“This Government has set aside just under £6bn for English highway authorities over the course of the next parliament for local highways maintenance – enough to fill 19 million potholes per year. 

“This is on top of the £6bn for the maintenance of Highways Agency roads, as well as the £3.4bn we are already providing in the period 2011 to 2015.” 

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