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UK County Councils prioritise Road Maintenance and Pothole Repair

January 22, 2016

A recent Freedom of Information request made by the Institute of Advanced Motorists has found that many county councils around the UK have made considerable investments in road maintenance and pothole repair. It was back in 2014 that the government pledged to provide a solution to the pothole problem around the UK and it appears county councils are following best practice and beginning to invest more in creating better, safer roads.

The Freedom of Information request found that many councils are following the government’s latest best practice guidelines and are investing more money into what are considered capital projects, such as road rebuilding, rather than wasting funds on temporary solutions.

At the beginning of last year, the Asphalt Industry Alliance stated there was a huge backlog of £12bn repairs and at the same time an IAM survey highlighted that general road maintenance is one of the biggest concerns amongst motorists. The new information revealed by the IAM though has shown that councils appear to be responding as they specifically asked via the request to find out how much county councils has spent on fixing road surfaces, including potholes and also how much they spent on capital projects to resurface the roads in the period between 2013 and 2015.

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Many councils had been seen to make huge increases in the amount spent on roads, with Oxfordshire County Council increasing their capital spending on resurfacing roads by a huge 139% from £4.6m to £11m and other councils including Cambridgeshire and Norfolk increasing their spending by 85% and 45% respectively.

There are still councils spending significantly on temporary solutions including Kent, Devon and Gloucestershire who topped the table for investing the most money in temporary pothole repairs in 2014/15. Despite this the information showed that there were eight councils, out of the 21 involved, who were spending less money on filling potholes, which comes in conjunction with the increase generally being spent on the full resurfacing of roads.

Potholes and uneven road surfaces can play a serious role in accidents and they can make driving much more difficult. If an accident can be found to be caused by the state of the road and accident or injury is caused then the driver may be able to claim for compensation usually from the local county council. Drivers who are doing all they can to drive safely deserve roads which are kept in the best possible condition so they can continue to drive to the best of their ability and the roads should not be the cause of accident or damage to any vehicle.

photo credit: More bad roads via photopin (license)