And while this is a major headache for cars and vans, it is potentially life threatening for motorcyclists. A survey in 2022 by MCN Compare found that one in five motorcyclists had had an accident or sustained damage to their bike as a result of hitting a pothole, and the Motorcycle Action Group’s own survey found that on average, 74 severe crashes a year involving motorcycles listed poor road surface as a contributory factor.
A report by the Asphalt Industry Alliance has found that a stunning 37,000 miles of UK roads were classed as in poor condition, with less than five years of life left.
It estimated that over £14bn was required to fix the problem – but the Government has announced just an extra £200m to help.
The AIA’s Chair, Rick Green, said: “Rising costs due to inflationary pressures mean that despite a moderate increase in overall local highway maintenance budgets, engineers can do less, and many have been forced to postpone or cancel road schemes to make savings. This will only store up problems and additional costs for the future – and have a negative impact on network resilience.”
The problem has been exacerbated by enforced restrictions on road repairs during the pandemic – but the AIA pointed out that successive governments had not prioritised the problem of carriageway repairs and funding had never been adequate.
It says that on average, each local authority in England and Wales spends around £7.7million less on carriageway repairs than is needed – a total of £1.3bn a year. It’s around two-thirds of the amount authorities say they would have needed to maintain their road network to meet their own targets.
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