Survey shows areas with worst streets

The millions who motor to Blackpool for their holidays are having to contend with some of the worst road conditions in the UK, an AA survey showed today.

The Lancashire resort - along with Oldham in Greater Manchester and Dartford in Kent - was judged to have streets in the poorest state.

In contrast, the best streets, in categories including potholes, pavements, road markings and cleanliness, were in Taunton in Somerset, Ipswich and the Berwick and Borders region of Scotland.

The street survey was carried out by 1,912 AA members this autumn.

They recorded the frequency of 12 categories of street blight within two miles of their homes.

These covered potholes, road repairs, damaged kerbs, inspection covers, road works, uneven payments, blocked drains, badly parked vehicles, litter, dog mess, bad signs and worn road markings.

The survey showed:

* London streets had the fewest potholes and patches while the worst pothole areas were Kilmarnock in Scotland, the Fylde coast of Lancashire (which includes Blackpool) and Telford in Shropshire;

* Berwick & Borders was the cleanest area, making the top three for both litter and dog fouling;

* The worst streets for litter and dog fouling were in Liverpool and Paisley in Scotland;

* The most serious problem was considered to be potholes, while the most reported "bad street item" was litter;

* Overall, Welsh streets were the best and north-east England ones were the worst;

* Northern Ireland streets were the worst for kerbs, roadworks, road signs, road markings and dog mess;

* But Northern Ireland had the least problem with potholes and the best pavements and paths.

AA president Edmund King said: "Our street survey is perhaps an example of the Big Society in action. We shall share the results with local highway authorities to support our campaign for more investment in local streets and paths.

"Neglect of these areas has a significant impact on how people feel about where they live. Our researchers believe that potholes were the most serious issue they encountered and this pothole plague will get worse as the winter progresses."

He went on: "Our surveys will also pioneer a local community spirit to show how simple, often easily fixable problems can tarnish an area's image. The surveys will also provide a regular benchmark of community issues in the light of local authority budget cutbacks.

"The results also show that local communities can help themselves by not littering and always clearing up after their dogs. In the survey I conducted I was astonished at the number of drinks containers discarded on our highways and byways. We might be a thirsty society but there is no excuse for being litter louts."

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