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IAM RoadSmart says pothole fund in 2018 budget isn’t enough

IAM RoadSmart has said that the £420 million investment of the back of the budget announced 29th October 2018 isn’t nearly enough to deal with the long-term pothole crisis.

Although the road safety charity has welcomed this investment they say it is a mere drop in the ocean when it comes to tackling the long-term issue facing millions of drivers.

Chancellor Philip 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.

In a survey of over 7,000 participants conducted by IAM RoadSmart just three months ago found that:

  • Some 47% – 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% had spotted a deterioration of some level in the roads they use with just over 50% rating the state of their roads as ‘much worse’ in the past three years and 38% rating them ‘worse.’
  • Some 81% – close to 6,000 people – said they have noticed ‘many more’ potholes in the past three years, adding in the 13% who have seen ‘a few more,’ that gives a total of 94% who report more potholes.
  • Over 56% said they have to take avoiding action on every journey to dodge potholes, while 27% said they have to steer around a pothole every day.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said:

“IAM RoadSmart welcomes the commitments to building more modern safe highways.  What we really need to see however is the same long-term funding approach applied to potholes. 

“Extra money is always welcome but when it arrives unpredictably for one year at a time it does little to help the long-term planning needed to really attack the pothole problems drivers and riders see and feel every day.”

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