Councils have been accused of risking people’s lives after it was revealed that spending on repairing potholes had dropped to its lowest level in more than a decade.

In 2004 to 2005, £2.4bn was spent on repairing potholes on B-roads, C-roads and unclassified routes. However, since then spending has fallen dramatically by 24 per cent to £1.87bn in 2016/17.

The figures, released by the Department for Transport, show that keeping A-roads and dual carriageways in working order has been given priority.

According to the Telegraph, the spending on minor roads has dropped every year for the last 15.

President of the AA Edmund King has called the this “potentially lethal”, particularly for cyclists of which three have lost their lives because of potholes.

“While spend on maintaining and improving the road surface on motorways and A-roads has increased, spend on local roads has decreased again,” said King.

“Most journeys start and end on local roads, so while there is an argument to keep the fastest roads in good condition, we should not be neglecting local streets.

“Cost-cutting on UK roads has already contributed to 11 people losing their lives with the switching off of street lights.

“Potholes have contributed towards at least three cyclists losing their lives. A systemic downgrading of inspection and repair standards for potholes introduces a new level of potential lethality.

“If the Government and local authorities want drivers to leave their cars at home and cycle to work and on short journeys, allowing roads to become more treacherous for two-wheelers is not the way to do it.”

Ted Welford


January 19, 2018