“Plague of potholes” to be investigated by Transport Committee

Published: 06 August 2018

“Plague of potholes” to be investigated by Transport Committee
 Do you often find your journey disrupted by the annoyance of potholes in the roads? The Transport Select Committee is investigating potholes across the UK’s road network, researching as to whether there is a permanent solution for the country’s currently increasing concerns which funding for roads would be better invested in.

Lilian Greenwood (Labour MP) is the chair of the committee stated the “plague of potholes undermines local economic performance” which the cost is heavy for on motorists “through damage to road vehicles.”
She also stated that the safety of other road users (specifically cyclists) is being compromised by the current standards of UK roads.

The Automobile Association applauded the investigations plans, the group’s president: Edmund King spoke on the matter: “Most journeys start and end on local roads and their condition has deteriorated at a shocking rate.

“Councils are crying out for more funding to maintain their most valuable infrastructure, and we hope this inquiry highlights the need for a significant and sustained investment strategy.”

The AA took a survey of more than 17,000 drivers in Feb 2018, the research demonstrated that only 31% of drivers feel local roads are “maintained to a high standard”, while many consider the worst maintained to be in the North West of England and Scotland.

During May, another study was taken by the AA which showed repair bills for damages caused by potholes costs drivers and insurance firms at least £1m every month.

Experts have suggested roads should be resurfaced every 10 to 20 years, according to a report to The Daily Telegraph. Meanwhile, some British highways are estimated to last 132 years, according to their respective council plans.

Earlier this year, the RHA welcomed news that the Government is planning to contribute a further £100 million for councils to improve potholes, this was due to the weather conditions earlier this year.

They released a statement during this period: “This news is good for all road users but in particular for road transport operators. For hauliers, the road network, including the motorway system, is their workplace. However, harsh winter conditions have seen many roads fall into such a state of disrepair that many are no longer fit for purpose.”

“We understand that the money will help repair almost 2 million potholes. The cost to road hauliers for repairs to damaged suspension systems and increased tyre wear for example, is already considerable.
“Local councils must acknowledge that the problem extends well beyond the main roads. Many distribution centres are based on large industrial estates for which the access roads are not part of the strategic road network. The need for these side roads to be maintained is equally important in maintaining the viability of local businesses and the regional economy.”

While many of the damages from the bitter winter have now been repaired, there is still a questionable standard on public roads which has an impact on the average hauliers daily journey. This is something the investigation should take into consideration and it is a significant factor for local councils to bear in mind when considering how their roads can be improved for drivers.
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