In a recent study by The Centre of Economics and Business Research the UK ranked worse than Namibia, Malaysia and Ecuador in a report that shows the appalling state of roads all across the UK. Despite being one of the strongest economies in Europe the UK trails behind less wealthy nations in its road quality.
Many UK citizens recognise the state of the roads and deal with it on a daily basis with plot holes, damaged curbs, debris as well as uneven surface as it has been lacking in quality for quite some time. On top of this campaigners are outraged that British drivers pay the highest tax rate in the world on diesel and fifth highest on petrol, costing up to £33bn a year. Other nations such as France, Germany and Spain ranked much higher in the research.
The report by economic experts revealed earlier this week identified the UK’s road network at 27th place in the world, describing that main highways were in a much worse condition than even the relatively poor nations.
At the top of the list was United Arab Emirates, closely followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Japan, France, Switzerland and Austria. Japan in particular recently suffered from a huge sink hole in Tokyo, repairs for which were impressively completed within a single week by The Fukuoka workers. Meanwhile in Ainsworth drivers are preparing for at least 3 weeks of roadworks causing many delays and diversions while workers make repairs to kerbs and drains. The carriageway will then be closed for a week while it is resurfaced.
At the very bottom of the list was Madagascar, including Congo and Paraguay which both featured within the bottom five.
The research was supported by the FairFuelUK campaign, discovering that the UK invests almost nine times as much money on rail services than it does on road services per mile. UK rail services have also been the subject of controversy, with services such as Southern Rail having multiple strikes and causing heavy delays for commuters over the course of the past year the public are demanding some form of change in the way services are operated. In other research conducted by traffic analyst Inrix, it was discovered that Britain’s roads are also among the busiest in Western Europe. With some vehicles in major cities travelling as low as 4mph during peak times.
There is much concern over what the money invested into transport in the UK is going towards. The public are struggling to see any benefit behind the work taking place with many UK roads still covered in damages and plot holes. UK roads are still struggling to improve and road construction and repair services are causing time-consuming delays or diversions for drivers on the roads. Meanwhile rail projects like the HS2 line linking London to North England which has had a recent investment of £56bn to develop and upgrade existing rails, this can cost up to £50bn per rail line.
Yet, even though a lot of investment has been put into UK rails, MPs on the Commons Transport Committee feel that Britain’s rail franchising model no longer suits its purpose. Failing on a daily basis with services such as Southern Rail causing uproar for commuters.
The report commissioned by the FairFuel UK Campaingn stated rail investment is near nine times what investment is put into roads per mile. While £186,000 is spent on rails for every million miles of passenger travel while roads received £21,000 over the course of 2015.
FairFuelUK spokesman Quentin Wilson told reports: “These are truly shameful numbers. With our road network such a snarling, constipated ruin, we wonder why pollution is at record levels?”
The Department for Transport also made sure their voices were heard, saying: “We are investing £23 billion to make the biggest improvements to our roads since the 1970s, making journeys faster, better and more reliable for everyone.”
Until such a time that the Department invest into UK roads and repairs take place without causing severe delays the general public seemingly have to grin and bear it. The UK needs a lot of work before it can compete with the quality of roads in other countries in Europe, let alone the world.
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