Are council roads going to pot, questions the IAM

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The condition of council roads failed to improve between 2008 and 2011 according to new figures out today from the Department for Transport*.

Poor road conditions damage vehicles, and are especially dangerous to cyclists and motorcyclists who can be easily thrown off course by potholes.

The condition of council roads failed to improve between 2008 and 2011 according to new figures out today from the Department for Transport*.

The councils with the highest percentage of main (principal**) roads requiring maintenance are Haringey (20 per cent), Camden (17 per cent), Oldham (14 per cent) and Reading (14 per cent).

The councils with the highest percentage of minor (non-principal***) roads requiring maintenance are Newham (20 per cent), North Lincolnshire (18 per cent), and Haringey (18 per cent).

Although Newham still has a lot of roads requiring maintenance, it has improved its roads significantly, from 25 per cent requiring maintenance in 2009/2010, to 20 per cent in 2010/2011. North Lincolnshire’s and Haringey’s minor roads deteriorated over the same period.

Of the 89 councils that provided data, 38 per cent reported that their minor roads deteriorated in 2010/11, 38 per cent of councils remained the same, and 24 per cent reported improvements.

In the same period, 40 per cent of councils reported deterioration in main road conditions, 38 per cent reported that their roads had remained the same and 21 per cent reported improved conditions.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “Under the previous government local authorities had targets to improve the condition of their roads. While the old system of road maintenance targets wasn’t perfect, the effect of the coalition scrapping these targets is evident in certain areas.

“Extra central government money following recent bad winters and the public outcry over the state of the roads has helped to stem the tide, but only when we have a commitment to long term funding can councils really start to address the huge backlog of repairs.

“Poor road conditions damage vehicles, and are especially dangerous to cyclists and motorcyclists who can be easily thrown off course by potholes. They also put all road users at risk, as drivers take evasive action to avoid hitting them.”

Notes to editors:     
1.    *Department for Transport statistical release ‘Road conditions 2011’ (published 31 May 2012)
2.    **Principal roads: The Classified Principal Road Network, which is a second tier road system
acting as a regional and district distributor routes and complementing the trunk road network. The network is almost entirely made up of “A” roads.
***Non-principal roads: The Classified Non-Principal Road Network, which is a subsidiary system of roads of local importance, mainly “A” and “B” roads.
http://www.highways.gov.uk/aboutus/documents/annex_1.pdf
3.    The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.

ENDS ALL
Media contacts:
IAM Press Office – 020 8996 9777
press.office (at) iam.org.uk
ISDN broadcast lines available
iam.org.uk

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Caroline Holmes - Communications officer
IAM
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