Bad roads 'cost economy £4.1bn'

Poor roads are costing the economy £4.1 billion annually, a new poll has shown.

A survey of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in England and Wales for the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) found that more than half (55%) lose an average of £13,600 each per year due to badly maintained roads.

Findings of the survey, which also polled 2,028 people, revealed that 56% think the condition of local roads has worsened in the last five years.

According to the study, 15% of SMEs have considered relocating to an area with better roads, with the figure rising to one in five for business enterprises in northern England, the Midlands and Wales.

A third of people said the condition of local roads affected where they shopped, while 39% said it affected their days out and 45% said it was a factor which influenced decisions about the location of their house.

Nearly half (47%) believed local roads, which make up 95% of the national road network, were poorly maintained, with three in five people living in Yorkshire and Humberside saying so.

People in the East Midlands are the most satisfied with the condition of the roads, with 41% believing roads were badly maintained.

The survey found that average expenditure from repairing vehicles damaged by poor roads was £340, with the highest average - £500 - being in the West Midlands and the lowest - £200 - in south-west England.

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