30 April 2020
With traffic greatly reduced on our roads the AA questions whether it might be a good opportunity to resurface more roads without causing disruption.
Lockdown exercising has brought home to many the state of their residential roads and streets. Potholes and fly-tipping have been the consistently the street defects most commonly reported recently on websites like FixMyStreet.
Official statistics show that the emphasis for extra road repair funding has been on main roads. This has meant people in lockdown have found that potholes have become a lot more close and personal while jogging, cycling or just walking. Younger children who have been able to come down from the pavement on their scooters or bikes, and their parents, have had to keep their eyes open.
Edmund King, the AA’s president, said: “Hitting a pothole for the extra families taking to the streets on foot and cycling isn’t just bump to the car, but a potential injury and may be a trip to hospital – which is exactly what the lockdown is trying to prevent.
“Spending on residential road maintenance may have increased in 2018-19 but it remains way behind the spending before the financial crash. Even then, councils struggled to keep up their maintenance schedules and the road rot had already started to set in.
“With daily road traffic down as much as 60%, the lockdown and the long dry period this month has provided an ideal chance to get to grips with potholes – whilst still observing social distancing. Some councils, like Shropshire, have seized that opportunity, the rash of weekly complaints elsewhere suggest others haven’t.”