02 Aug New Inquiry Opens into the State of English Roads
The Transport Committee has opened a new inquiry into the governance and funding of local roads in England.
Transport Committee chairman Lilian Greenwood said:
“This plague of potholes represents a major headache for all of us. The consequences of a deteriorating local road network are significant – undermining local economic performance and resulting in direct costs to motorists, through damage to road vehicles. The safety of other road users, particularly cyclists, is compromised.
“Our inquiry aims to investigate the situation in England, including current funding constraints and potential alternative models that could offer a solution. We know that this is a high priority issue among the public and I hope our inquiry will help put the onus on the Government to address it sooner rather than later.”
News of the inquiry launch has been welcomed by the RAC. Chief engineer David Bizley said:
“This inquiry will be welcomed by drivers who have to endure the dire state of our local roads on a daily basis. We know that more drivers are suffering breakdowns than 12 months ago – and potentially expensive damage – as a result of poor quality road surfaces. But the reality is that potholes are dangerous to all road users, particularly cyclists. It is vitally important, both in terms of keeping communities connected and for the long-term economic health of the country, that local roads are given similar priority. The current approach with inadequate central funding topped up by emergency funding for ‘pothole filling’ on a regular basis, is not sustainable. We need the same long-term strategic approach to fixing local roads that the government has implemented to maintaining and developing the strategic road network.”
The Inquiry is now asking for written submissions, for more information click here
Pot Hole Stats
- Local roads are the capillaries of the British road system carry two-thirds of all motor vehicle traffic and nearly all cycling activity
- A recent AA poll showed that 85% of drivers thought that roads weren’t being maintained properly
- Since 2007, potholes have contributed to the deaths of 22 cyclists and seriously injured 368, according to Cycling UK
- The severe cuts imposed on local councils have meant that road resurfacing has fallen down the list of priorities. An Asphalt Industry Association survey showed the frequency of road resurfacing had decreased by nearly a half
- UK councils repaired 2 million potholes in 2016
- In April to June 2018, there were 4,091 RAC call-outs for damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs or distorted wheels – faults which are most likely to be directly attributed to poor quality road surfaces
- Potholes account for a third of mechanical issues on UK roads and costs British motorists an estimated £2.8 billion every year
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