Majority believe potholes getting worse

66% of UK residents note a marked decline in road surface quality

Published:  09 October, 2013

TWO-thirds of people believe the condition of the nation's road surfaces has deteriorated over the past five years, according to a poll.

This is despite a £100m 'pothole fund' which was announced in the 2011 budget. At the time some commentators suggested that the fund was little more than government 'spin' as the amount of money allocated was substantially less than the amount cut from local authorities' roads budgets.

The poll, carried out by ICM for the BBC revealed that overall local authorities had managed to maintain services, such as recycling and libraries, to a standard  that as is as good or better than before the financial crash which prompted the incoming coalition government to cut public spending.

However, only 19% of those polled thought that roads had improved.  Peter Box, chairman of the Local Government Association's  economy and transport board, told the BBC: "The case for proper funding to resurface our roads is a no-brainer."

"The short-termist approach of successive governments of underfunding local road maintenance, coupled with severe weather over recent years, has taken its toll. Now we're facing unprecedented budget cuts, things are only getting worse - something plain for all drivers to see."

He added: "Despite their best efforts, many councils are trapped in a false economy of reactive repairs while managing a spiralling compensation bill, all the time praying it doesn't flood or freeze."

A separate poll commissioned by insurer Warranty Direct showed the average repair bill from pothole damage is £350.

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