COMMONS

MPs launch inquiry into poor state of local roads

01 August 2018

The Transport Committee launches a new inquiry into the funding and governance of local roads in England. Local roads comprise over 97% of total road network length and carry two-thirds of motor traffic and almost all cyclist movements. 

Concerns for driver and cyclist safety

Road condition and maintenance has been a matter of public concern for several years, with potholes plaguing the country. In a recent AA-Populus Driver Poll of more than 17,000 drivers, only 15% said that local roads are maintained to a high standard.

According to Cycling UK, potholes have been a contributory factor in 22 deaths and 368 serious injuries to cyclists since 2007.

Road re-surfacing frequency sees significant drop

Many local authorities struggle to find the funding to repair roads often enough and to the required standards. According to the latest Asphalt Industry Association (AIA) ALARM survey, English councils have seen a marked decrease in the frequency of road re-surfacing. On average, for all classes of road, this has dropped from once every 55 years to once every 92 years. 

Send us your views

The Committee calls for written evidence on:

  • The condition of local roads in England and how they have fared over time, particularly compared with other parts of England’s road network; 
  • The direct and wider economic and social costs of not maintaining local roads; 
  • The quality of monitoring and reporting of local road conditions; 
  • Whether the current approach to maintenance of local roads is appropriate and whether it needs to be improved;
  • The suitability of governance structures for maintaining local roads and whether any changes are required; 
  • The funding requirements of local roads and the suitability of current funding streams for the immediate and longer-term future; 
  • Whether there is a role for alternative funding models for local roads maintenance and investment; and
  • The regional distribution of local roads funding across England.

Send a written submission to the inquiry on local roads funding and governance.

The deadline for written submissions is Tuesday 2 October 2018.

Chair's Comment

Chair of the Transport Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said:

"Local roads are the arteries of prosperous and vibrant towns and cities. They are critical to the movement of goods as well as our own journeys. However, many people will not have to travel further than their local shops to see an extreme state of disrepair.

This plague of potholes represents a major headache for all of us. The consequences of a deteriorating local road network are significant – undermining local economic performance and resulting in direct costs to motorists, through damage to road vehicles. The safety of other road users, particularly cyclists, is compromised.

Our inquiry aims to investigate the situation in England, including current funding constraints and potential alternative models that could offer a solution. We know that this is a high priority issue among the public and I hope our inquiry will help put the onus on the Government to address it sooner rather than later."

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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