RAC welcomes inquiry into poor state of local roads

RAC welcomes inquiry into poor state of local roads

MPs have launched an inquiry into the state of England’s local roads as concerns grow over their poor maintenance.

The Transport Select Committee plans to examine the funding and governance of England’s network, much of which is plague by potholes.

Committee chair Lilian Greenwood says the “extreme state of disrepair” of local roads is obvious to all who use them.

She added: “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.”

The RAC will be submitting evidence to the inquiry on behalf of its eight million members.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley says: “This inquiry will be welcomed by drivers across the UK who have to endure the dire state of our local roads on a daily basis.”

READ MORE: RAC patrols report third worst quarter for pothole breakdowns

Recent RAC research found that pothole-related vehicle breakdowns were at a three-year high between April and June 2018.

In total, there were over 4,000 call-outs to breakdowns caused by potholes in the second quarter of 2018.

And a report by the Asphalt Industry Alliance recently warned that one in five local roads in England and Wales is in a poor condition.

Cyclists are suffering too, with Government figures showing that poor road surfaces have been a contributory factor to 22 cyclist deaths and 368 serious injuries over the past decade.

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It all adds up to a growing national problem that the RAC has been monitoring with great concern.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is keen to highlight the new funding it has made available to help improve the condition of England’s local highways.

A DfT spokesman says: “This funding includes a record £296 million through the Pothole Action Fund - enough to fix around 6 million potholes.”

But the RAC’s David Bizley says: “The current approach with inadequate central funding topped up by emergency funding for ‘pothole filling’ on a regular basis, is not sustainable.

“We need the same long term strategic approach to fixing local roads that the government has implemented for maintaining and developing the strategic road network.”

Mr Bizley adds: “We will be submitting evidence to the Transport Committee on behalf of our eight million members and not least our breakdown data which shows that in the first quarter of 2018 we saw the number of breakdown faults attributed to potholes was double compared to the same period in 2017 and drivers are now facing vehicle repair bills running into hundreds of million pounds.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.