Major investment programme in pothole damage is welcome but urgent long-term planning is still needed says IAM RoadSmart

Posted on 11/03/20 |

IAM RoadSmart has strongly welcomed today’s (11 March) £2.5 billion shot-in-the-arm for filling the huge backlog of potholes - but warns a long-term plan is urgently needed to cure the problem for good.

The new investment was announced in today’s budget by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

A past survey of more than 7,000 IAM RoadSmart members showed a clear majority (88%) think the condition of our roads has deteriorated  in recent years and over half those surveyed (56%) said there are many more potholes than ever before, and that they had had to swerve to avoid potholes on every journey (reference 1).

Nearly half (over 3,400 respondents) said they have experienced damage to their vehicle as a result of hitting a pothole. Some 27% said they needed to steer around a pothole every day.

An Asphalt Industry Alliance investigation found that councils in England and Wales would need to spend a total of £9.8 billion over 10 years to bring all their roads up to standard.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Pothole damage is not just inconvenient and expensive, it is a massive safety concern.

“Drivers and riders pay a premium through their taxes for investment in roads. It really is time to ring-fence funds for tackling this pothole epidemic, and get the problem sorted once and for all.”

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IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

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