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2017 local roads condition survey

ALARMing findings suggest local roads in terminal decline

The plague of potholes isn’t going to be filled anytime soon according to the 2017 'ALARM' report

28 March 2017

The Asphalt Industry Alliance’s ALARM (Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance) report provides a snapshot of the general condition of the local road network in England and Wales based on an independent survey of local authority highway departments.

The 2017 report was published on 28 March and highlights how decades of under funding, coupled with increased traffic and wetter winters means that one on six of local roads won't be fit for purpose in five years' time.

  • Around half of all roads reported as being in good structural condition (15 years or more life left)
  • More than one in six roads are in poor condition (less than five years life remaining)
  • 1.7 million potholes filled
    • 19% fewer in England compared to last year
    • 43% fewer in London
    • 19% more in Wales
  • Estimated £12.06 billion and 12 years of planned works required to bring the network up to scratch

Flat tyre

A third of AA members say that local roads are poor

An AA-Populus Driver Poll of 15,035 AA members last week and over the weekend reveal deep dissatisfaction with the state of local roads, with more than a third (34%) saying their residential streets are in poor condition and 27% saying main roads leading into towns and villages are also bad.

In contrast, only 14% rated trunk roads, the major routes connecting larger towns/cities in their area, as poor and 5% rated the condition of motorways as poor.

Plague of potholes

Commenting on the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s 2017 report, Edmund King, AA president says “It is clear that the plague of potholes isn’t going to be filled anytime soon.

“Even before getting to a main road drivers are using pothole-riddled roads, which they would be lucky to see resurfaced in their lifetime as it takes councils 87 years to get round to it.

“Councils are also picking up the tab for the failure of utilities companies who leave the roads in an unsuitable condition after carrying out their repairs. 10% of a councils’ road maintenance budget is lost trying to patch up the failings of others.

A third (32%) of our members have told us that they have experienced car damage caused by potholes within the last two years.
Edmund King, AA president

 

“With £6 million paid in compensation, each local council has missed the chance to fill 30,000 potholes. A third (32%) of our members have told us that they have experienced car damage caused by potholes within the last two years.

”The Government needs to confront the funding shortfall head on and help fund repairs and resurfacing work quicker. If not our streets will continue to resemble Swiss cheese rather than smooth highways.”

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