William Eichler 26 January 2018

Pothole progress thwarted by underfunding, RAC warns

The country has ‘gone backwards’ in terms of pothole progress, the RAC says as it warns poor weather will make the situation worse in the coming months.

The latest figures from the RAC’s Pothole Index reveal that the number of pothole faults was up in 2017 when compared with the year before.

In the last quarter of 2017, the Index shows that 2,830 individual members suffered a vehicle breakdown likely attributable to poor roads surfaces. This was up from 2,547 during the same period in 2016.

Road surfaces may well deteriorate further by spring in the wet and cold, the car breakdown company warned.

According to the Local Government Association (LGA), the Government plans to spend £1.1m per mile to maintain its strategic road network between 2015 and 2020, but will offer just £21,000 per mile for local roads over the same period.

The RAC called for ‘ring-fenced, long-term funding’ for local authorities to improve road surfaces.

‘Put simply, potholes are a menace for drivers and indeed for all road users,’ said RAC’s chief engineer David Bizley.

‘We want to see local authorities given the certainty of ring-fenced, long-term funding from central government sufficient to enable local authorities to bring all of the UK’s roads up to a standard that is fit-for purpose.

‘Drivers contribute around £40bn of motoring based taxation a year and many will feel that they are having to endure roads that are substandard and therefore getting poor value for money.’

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