A new £420m investment in tackling Britain’s pothole crisis is merely ‘a drop in the ocean’ - according to road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart.
While the figure is welcome, it doesn’t go nearly far enough to dealing with this long-term and major issue, the charity revealed this week, after the recent budget saw Chancellor Philip Hammond announce the cash injection for the country’s beleaguered roads, alongside a £28.8 billion fund to upgrade England’s motorways.
Mr Hammond announced £25.5 billion for Highways England for major road upgrades between 2020 and 2025 and an extra £3.5 billion of funding allocated to major local routes, under the jurisdiction of local councils. The £420 million for potholes is on top of an existing fund of almost £300 million.
However just three months ago IAM RoadSmart conducted a survey of over 7,000 of its members, finding how disillusioned they had become with Britain’s rotten roads.
47 per cent - over 3,400 respondents – said they had experienced damage to their car, commercial vehicle, motorbike or bicycle or personal injury as a result of hitting a pothole.
Around 90 per cent had spotted a deterioration of some level in the roads they use, with just over 50 per cent rating the state of their roads as ‘much worse’ in the past three years, and 38 per cent rating them ‘worse.’
81 per cent - close to 6,000 people – said they have noticed ‘many more’ potholes in the past three years, adding in the 13 per cent who have seen ‘a few more,’ that gives a total of 94 per cent who report more potholes.
Over 56 per cent said they have to take avoiding action on every journey to dodge potholes, while 27 per cent said they have to steer around a pothole every day.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Extra money is always welcome but when it arrives unpredictably for one year at a time it does little to help attack the pothole problem.”