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The true state of roads in need of repair

The true state of roads in need of repair

Published by Helen Down at 7:41am 24th February 2019.

All drivers hate bumpy roads and potholes, and now figures reveal how much of Cornwall's road network may need repairs.

It may surprise you to learn that just 1% of Cornwall's 338 miles of council-run A roads were judged to be in need of maintenance; that is only 3.4 miles.

The road inspections, done by scanner machine and human checks, were carried out in the 12 months to March 2018.

The examinations identify sections of road worn by use or affected by ruts, bumps or potholes.

However, it is not clear from the figures how badly damaged the roads are.

Figures from the Department for Transport show that just 1% of council-run A roads in Cornwall are in need of repairs

What do the figures show?

As well as A roads, the Department for Transport data also shows that 6% of the B and C roads were in need of work.

Unclassified roads, small lanes used for local traffic, also required repairs, with 5% in need of maintenance.

In total, there are 4,190 miles of minor roads in Cornwall.

The areas in the south-west with the worst A roads are Bournemouth, Bristol, Wiltshire and Dorset.

The highway inspections use a classification called the Road Condition Indicator. This categorises a road as green, amber or red, based on ruts and bumps.

If a part of a route is branded red it should be checked more regularly as it is likely to require maintenance.

The Department for Transport data also shows that 6% of the B and C roads in Cornwall were in need of work

Across Britain, 717 miles of council-run A roads were deemed in need of maintenance.

“We believe Britain’s pothole problem has been caused by years of under investment, especially when it comes to local roads – with councils having to make some tough decisions about where to prioritise spending.

"It’s a sad reality that investment hasn’t been sufficient to guarantee the quality of these roads."

Rod Dennis, RAC

The figures also show that road conditions are roughly the same as they were five years ago, when a similar proportion of Cornwall's A roads were in need of repairs.

The condition of unclassified roads has improved, as from April 2012 to March 2013 8% of minor roads required repairs. These statistics only refer to Cornwall's local authority run roads.

The majority of roads in the area are the responsibility of the council while Highways England is in charge of the maintenance for motorways and some major A roads.

Road conditions are roughly the same as they were five years ago, when a similar proportion of Cornwall's A roads were in need of repairs.

What does Cornwall Council say?

"It is encouraging to see that we are performing well above average for the state of our roads, especially considering the budget pressures we face, and the severe weather which caused so much damage 12 months ago.

 "It is a constant battle to keep 7,300km of roads in Cornwall maintained, but, thanks to the excellent work of the team at Cormac we are clearly making the best use of resources available.

"If you want to find out where road surfacing is planned in the next 12 months then visit https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/15680.aspx , or if you need to report a pothole, please report online by visiting cornwall.gov.uk and searching 'report a pothole'.  

"If there is something that is causing an immediate danger or is an emergency please call 0300 1234 222.”

Councillor Geoff Brown

You can check the full figures for Cornwall here.

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