Road conditions 'getting worse'

Road conditions in the UK have got worse as reduced funding for local councils and extreme early-winter weather have taken their toll on driving surfaces, an RAC survey claims.

A lack of funding combined with an increasing number of potholes on the UK's roads have forced local authorities to carry out cheaper short-term repairs as opposed to paying for more expensive long-term solutions, the RAC said.

The research found that half of the 20 UK councils quizzed in the survey were yet to finish repairing the damage caused by the bad weather of winter 2009/10.

A total of 11 councils described their roads as being in a poor or mixed condition, while three-quarters said there was lifting and cracking of road surfaces over a large area.

Poor road conditions can lead to more damage being caused to cars, which in turn can lead to a rise incar insurance claims and customers having to pay more expensive premiums.

The poll also found that eight of the 20 councils had reported reductions in road maintenance budgets.

An additional survey of almost 350 RAC patrol teams found there had been a 25% increase in callouts resulting from potholes and poor road conditions over the past 12 months.

Wheel and tyre damage was the most common problem caused by potholes. A total of 89% of the patrols said rural roads were in a poor condition, while 82% rated suburban road conditions as poor.

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