Unfinished roadworks run for 2,387 miles, shows survey
Councils and utility companies have nearly 25,000 incomplete roadworks covering as estimated 2,387 miles, according to figures released today.
The research, conducted by LV= Road Rescue, shows that Suffolk County Council has the most outstanding road maintenance projects at 1,906. This was followed by Leicestershire County Council (1,250) and Derby City Council (930).
The research also found that a third of motorists said their car journey was affected by roadworks, adding an average 12 minutes on each journey. Roadworks have also caused one in seven drivers to be late for an appointment or meeting over the past year.
Peter Horton, managing director of LV= Road Rescue, said: ‘Local authorities face a difficult challenge to repair and maintain our roads this year, particularly given the impact of the adverse weather we have seen in recent months. With more cars on the road than ever, it will be hard to carry out roadworks without impacting drivers.’
The Local Government Association (LGA) said councils worked closely with utility companies to reduce the impact of roadworks but underfunding was causing a backlog of repairs.
Cllr Peter Box, chairman of the LGA’s Economy and Transport Board, said: ‘We share the frustration of motorists about the state of our roads. Decades of underfunding have trapped councils in an endless cycle of only being able to patch up our road network. We need increased and consistent funding for the widespread resurfacing projects we desperately need if we’re ever to see a long-term improvement.’
Responding to the figures, Cllr Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads, transport and planning, said: 'Our response to the recent FOI included every highways related report that was on order at the time of request, however small. These reports cover a multitude of road related requests, including, broken kerbs, bent signs and street lighting repairs.
We feel strongly that these figures are not indicative of the state of Suffolk’s roads, on the contrary, after Women’s Tour organisers scouted Suffolk's roads for the up and coming cycling events, it was noted that these roads are some of the best they'd encountered.
'We’re now beginning to make good progress with pothole repairs since the extreme weather we faced during the winter period, and in the last month the number of outstanding orders has halved to just over 500. We’re also underway with an extensive programme of planned maintenance such as resurfacing and patching work, this is in addition to the extra work we’re able to carry out from the £2.9m allocated to us by central government.'