Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-11-22 00:01
Half of drivers say local road conditions have become worse since last year, while only 11 per cent believe they’ve become better
Around half of drivers think the state of local roads in the UK has deteriorated in the last 12 months, according to new data.
Of the 1,753 drivers surveyed for the 2019 RAC Report on Motoring, 49 per cent said the condition of local roads – not motorways or major A roads – has deteriorated since 2018, primarily due to potholes and other road surface issues.
A mere 11 per cent of respondents said they thought local road conditions had improved in the last year, while 40 per cent said they hadn’t noticed any real change.
Drivers living in rural locations were shown to be 10 per cent more likely to be dissatisfied with their local road conditions than residents of urban areas. In line with this trend, 25 per cent of motorists living in London said local road conditions had improved.
Potholes and road surface conditions were the primary concern of most respondents, but not the sole issue. Some 22 per cent were most dissatisfied with grass and foliage maintenance on their local roadsides. In addition, the proportion of motorists saying signage visibility on local roads has deteriorated rose from eight per cent to 17 per cent.
The survey also saw 83 per cent of drivers say the quality of local roads should be better than it is considering how much tax the Government takes from drivers. In fact, 77 per cent said they would support having at least a chunk of their existing motoring taxes ring-fenced for local road maintenance.
Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, commented: “The state of our roads is always one of the biggest bugbears for drivers. This year our research findings showed a third of drivers we surveyed listed the condition and maintenance of local roads as one of their top four concerns from a list of 20 motoring issues.
“Despite data from our patrols revealing fewer of the breakdowns they have attended this year have been related to pothole damage, it seems that drivers still feel that road surfaces are not as good as they should be. Those living in rural areas definitely feel more hard done by, perhaps because they rely on their cars more than those in towns and cities so they are more inclined to notice defects that hinder their journeys.
“There is also a very clear divide between opinions about the condition of local roads and motorways and dual carriageways, with local roads appearing to be in a far worse state than their major road counterparts. This points towards the difference in the way both are funded, with only major roads having certainty of funding from central government.”
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