Major warning as potholes and road conditions could get worse

Sir Rod Stewart fills potholes next to his home

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Recently released data from the Department for Transport shows that a third of all local B and C roads in England are in desperate need of maintenance and repair. This annual report presents information on the condition of roads in England, covering surface conditions, skidding resistance, highway maintenance treatments, and expenditure.

It found that 79 percent of local authorities reported an improvement or no change in the proportion of A roads categorised as needing repairs or maintenance between March 2013 and 2022.

Unclassified roads make up three-fifths of roads maintained by councils but are the most overlooked. 

AA analysis has found that 15 percent of unclassified roads are considered “Red” category, the worst ranking available.

Half of unclassified roads in Hammersmith & Fulham are in need of repair, while more than a third of those roads in Bury and Wolverhampton need resurfacing.

The data comes with the Prime Minister and Chancellor due to announce their fiscal statement later this month, but with rumours swirling about public spending cuts. 

The AA is warning the Government that cutting funding for roads maintenance would be detrimental for everyone.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: “Roads across the country are in an awful state and with winter just around the corner the plague of potholes will only spread.

“Local roads are at great risk of becoming dangerous and need significant invest to make them safe. 

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“Smooth roads also encourage people to cycle more which would help reach our Net Zero targets. Our local roads cannot take another round of cuts. 

“The Prime Minister and Chancellor should avoid slashing local road investment later this month.”

Derbyshire Council has the worst B and C roads, with a quarter in need of repair. 

One-fifth of B and C roads in Southend-on-Sea (18 percent) should be considered for repair, with Shropshire and Derby tied for third place with 13 percent.

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The RAC echoed the calls of the AA for the Government to intervene to ensure road maintenance is prioritised and well-funded.

It acknowledged that there have been rumours of further funding cuts, including a £500million cut from the £2.5billion pothole fund.

This money would then be used by the Government across other sectors to address spending problems.

Nicholas Lyes, RAC head of roads policy, said the lack of road improvements does not bode well for the winter months.

He added: “Our research shows that the majority of drivers believe local road conditions have worsened in the last 12 months and our Pothole Index suggests drivers are around 1.5 times more likely to suffer a pothole-related breakdown than they were in 2006.

“A lack of adequate funding for the nation’s local roads remains the biggest issue and drivers will be wincing if any further cuts to budgets are announced in the forthcoming Autumn Statement.

“Cutting pothole funds would be huge backward step, heaping yet more misery onto drivers and businesses who will need to fork out for costly repairs to vehicles, while also increasing the risk of roads becoming safety hazards for cyclists.”

The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is set to deliver his Autumn Statement on November 17, with a number of spending cuts expected to most Government sectors.

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