Britain’s crumbling roads: 69% agree they’re in a state

By Marc Potter
marcpotter Tested every new bike since 1994, loves anything on two wheels, runs Potski Media, ex-BikeSocial boss. Recently discovered elbow-down riding - likely to end in tears.

A pothole, yesterday.
Go for a ride and you often find yourself concentrating harder on avoiding pot holes than dozy car drivers, such is the state of Britain’s roads at the moment.

So it’s no surprise that almost two-thirds of Britain’s motorists think the UK’s pothole problem is out-of-control and the Government are doing a bad job of maintaining the UK’s roads.

According to the latest research published today by road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), almost 69 per cent of male motorists are unhappy with the state of Britain’s roads. There are estimated to be a staggering 3.2million pot holes in the UK.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "Despite the government's pothole review, there is a high level of dissatisfaction with the efforts of authorities to keep our roads safe and smooth to drive or ride on.
"The government need to convince motorists that they have a real cure for the pothole pandemic. This can only be achieved through clear communication on new policies, more sharing of resources and sustained long-term funding.”

The survey showed that a third of motorists (34 per cent) think their council is cutting spending on road maintenance but, 60 per cent of drivers don't know if budgets are being cut, suggesting councils are performing poorly on informing and engaging with local residents.

Over half of drivers (52 per cent) think that local councils are doing a bad or very bad job of looking after local roads. Fifty-seven per cent of males and 49 per cent of females believe their council is doing a bad or very bad job.

As reported by Bike Social last month, an extra £200m to fix the problem over 2014/2015 was announced in Chancellor George Osbourne’s budget. This is on top of the £140m which was made available earlier in March to repair the road networks affected.

The IAM’s tips for avoiding pot holes:

  • Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front so that you can see the road surface before you
    drive or ride on it.
  • If you do hit a pothole accidentally, make a point of checking your tyres once you've stopped. Check the inner as well as the outer tyre wall, which may have been damaged as a result.
  • Avoid suddenly pulling out to avoid a hole - you might discover that there is another motorcyclist trying to get past you, or encounter an oncoming vehicle.
  • Bikers and cyclists need to look well ahead and change direction early so they have time to deal with the
    holes, and so that their movements don't cause surprise to other road users.
  • Potholes tend to reappear in the same place again and again as previous repairs fail - remember where you saw one and expect it to be there again.
  • Be extra vigilant on roads with lots of lorries and also around bus stops. Extra pressure is put on the road surface wherever heavy vehicles stop, start or turn.
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