Drivers’ anger over poor local roads reaches highest level in 9 years

A minor road full of potholes

Road surface conditions are drivers' main concerns

The disrepair of Britain’s roads is a top concern for almost half of drivers (49%), according to the RAC’s Annual Report on Motoring. This is the highest percentage since the RAC started this report in 2015. 

Who’s concerned? 

The concern over the state of Britain’s roads is particularly prevalent in older age groups. 55% of 45- to 64-year-olds said it was their main concern. This rises to 59% among people aged over 65. 

What issues do poor road surface conditions cause? 

Many drivers reported they’d had to take sudden evasive action due to the state of the roads.  

Over a third (35%) said they’d had to suddenly swerve to avoid a pothole, crossing into another lane or even the other side of the road without warning. 69% said they’d been forced to slow down sharply to drive over a pothole, and 37% said they’d started maintaining a larger distance between themselves and the car in front of them to give themselves more time to react to road surface problems.  

What are drivers’ other concerns? 

It’s not just the condition of the road surfaces that causes problems. 67% of people said the overall condition of their local roads has deteriorated in the past year. While problems with road surfaces were the main culprit (cited by 97% of people), other issues highlighted were faded road markings (61%), litter (35%) and poor signage visibility (34%).  

Why are the roads so bad? 

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “Sadly, a long-term lack of funding for maintenance and repair work means our roads are in such a fragile state that it only takes a little rainwater getting into existing flaws followed by some sub-zero temperatures for them to break down further.” 

What can be done? 

There are calls for the Government to ringfence 2p from every litre of existing fuel revenue over five years which can then be given to councils to fund road repairs. However, there are no definitive plans to do this. 

Williams says: “It is plain wrong that drivers who contribute billions in tax every year have to put up with roads that are far from being fit for purpose.” 

For more information, check out how the world’s biggest Pothole Pro fleet are set to start fixing the roads. 

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