3 November 2022
Data released by the Department for Transport today* shows that a third of all local B and C roads in England are in desperate need of maintenance and repair, analysis by the AA shows.
Derbyshire Council has the worst B and C roads, with a quarter (24%) in need of repair***. A fifth of B and C roads in Southend-on-Sea (18%) should be considered for repair, with Shropshire and Derby tied for third place with 13%.
Unclassified roads make up three fifths of roads maintained by councils but are the most overlooked. AA analysis has found that 15% of unclassified roads are considered “Red” category, the worst ranking available.
Our local roads cannot take another round of cuts
Half (50%****) of unclassified roads in Hammersmith & Fulham are in need of repair, while more than a third of unclassified roads in Bury and Wolverhampton need resurfacing.
The data comes with the Prime Minister and Chancellor due to announce their fiscal statement later this month, but with rumours swirling about public spending cuts. The AA is warning the government that cutting funding for roads maintenance would be detrimental for everyone.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: “Roads across the country are in an awful state and with winter just around the corner the plague of potholes will only spread.
“Local roads are at great risk of becoming dangerous and need significant invest to make them safe. Smooth roads also encourage people to cycle more which would help reach our Net Zero targets.
“Our local roads cannot take another round of cuts. The Prime Minister and Chancellor should avoid slashing local road investment later this month.”
* Road conditions in England to March 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
** Definition of local road types by DfT outlined below (source: Guidance on road classification and the primary route network - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)):
All UK roads (excluding motorways) fall into the following 4 categories:
- A roads – major roads intended to provide large-scale transport links within or between areas
- B roads – roads intended to connect different areas, and to feed traffic between A roads and smaller roads on the network
- Classified unnumbered – smaller roads intended to connect together unclassified roads with A and B roads, and often linking a housing estate or a village to the rest of the network. Similar to ‘minor roads’ on an Ordnance Survey map and sometimes known unofficially as C roads
- Unclassified – local roads intended for local traffic. The vast majority (60%) of roads in the UK fall within this category