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NEW research from the Department for Transport has revealed a rise in local – unclassified – roads needing urgent repair.

These roads – for local users rather than traffic passing through that compromise around 60% of all UK roads – present the greatest concern, with 17% of road surfaces in need of immediate attention.

The survey, based on local authority assessment of roads across England during 2019-2021, shows A, B and C roads have generally remained in good condition during the pandemic.  It reveals 6 % of ‘B and C’ – minor – roads are in need of urgent repair and the state of these roads has remained stable throughout lockdown.

While only 4% of major or ‘A’ roads are classified as being in need of immediate repairs, the situation has got worse in the last two years across the pandemic – after improving over the past decade.

Drivers in the South East are most likely to spot inadequate road surfaces for A roads, with 4.7% classified as ‘red’ – in need of immediate repair – followed by the North West registering 4.2%.

The North West is the hot spot for poor road surfaces for B roads at 7.2% of all roads followed by the South East at 5.1%. For C roads it is the South West – 9.6% – then the North West – 7.9%.

The latest survey was undertaken from 2019-2021 and covers nearly 100 local authorities across all regions in England. Local authorities assessed road surfaces for developments such as cracking and rutting using the Road Condition Indicator methodology, which is also used by National Highways to classify road worthiness.

Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, one of the UK’s price comparison websites said: “I’m pleasantly surprised that the condition of our most commonly used roads have been so well maintained throughout lockdown, although a reduction in traffic volumes may have helped keep damage to a minimum.

“It’s interesting to see that local roads are the only areas to deteriorate across the pandemic – perhaps due to various lockdowns and staff shortages they were harder to maintain.

“The condition of many roads is not just a bugbear for England’s motorists, poor road conditions affect driver safety and can increase claims rates which in turn can push insurance premiums up for all drivers in the affected area.

“While incidents like a pothole damaging their car’s suspension should be covered by their insurance, if loose material cracks their windscreen, that won’t always be covered by every car insurance policy. In addition, a driver’s premium may well rise after they claim for damage caused by poorly maintained roads, and their no claims bonus will usually be affected as well.”

 



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