Parliamentary inquiry into ‘pothole plague’ begins
Transport Select Committee addresses the state of UK’s roads, claiming that resurfacing work has tailed off significantly
The state of the UK’s roads has attracted the attention of the Transport Select Committee, which is launching an inquiry into how road repairs are funded.
Road resurfacing, research from the Asphalt Industry Association (AIA) says, has dropped in average frequency from every 55 years to once every 92 years, raising concerns about the effect this is having on the state of repair of Britain’s roads.
The AIA’s Alarm survey says the percentage of budget spent on fixing carriageways in England this year has fallen by 2% compared with last year, to 56%, although it’s risen by 5% to 63% in Wales. The English carriageway maintenance budget has risen by £1.9 million, meanwhile, to £14.7 million.
The committee is calling for evidence from the public on road conditions, as well as insight into the knock-on effects of poorly maintained roads and any thoughts on how the roads should be maintained.
Concerns about cyclist safety and damage to cars are cited as areas of interest, with the committee saying: “Road condition and maintenance has been a matter of public concern for several years, with potholes plaguing the country.”
Committee chair 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.”
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