Misery for British motorists as roadworks projects remain incomplete
01/05/2014 Highways Reporters
Research carried out by breakdown service LV=Road Rescue has revealed that there are 25,000 incomplete roadworks on British roads.
In total, the unfinished projects cover an estimated 2,387 miles of road.
Some of the oldest existing roadworks projects include the A629 Brow Lane in Halifax and Carey Street in London, both of which were started over 18 months ago.
UK motorists say that roadworks now affect a third (34%) of their car journeys and add 12 minutes to their journey on average. Two thirds of motorists (65%) have experienced traffic jams in the past 12 months and just over half (54%) have had to take a diversion, adding an extra five miles to their route on average.
This has caused one in seven drivers (14%) to be late for an appointment or meeting.
Yet roadworks don’t just delay drivers, they can also cause other problems on the road. One in eight (13%) drivers say they have experienced aggressive behaviour from another driver while stuck in roadworks, and 4%, the equivalent of 1.2 million drivers[iii], have broken down as a result of their car over-heating while sitting in traffic.
Across the country local authorities have been investing millions in improving the state of Britain’s roads. Last year each council spent an average of £5.9 million on road maintenance projects in their area[iv]. Despite this, two thirds of motorists (66%) feel that the road quality in their area is getting worse and more than a third (37%) don’t believe roadworks are completed quickly enough. Of those who responded to the survey, Suffolk County Council has the most outstanding road maintenance projects (1,906) followed by Leicestershire County Council (1,250) and Derby City Council (930).
Cllr Peter Box, chairman of the Local Government Association’s economy and transport board, said: “Councils always look to ensure essential work by their highway teams is carried out efficiently and to a high standard. We also work with utility firms to make sure they keep disruption to an absolute minimum and that works are co-ordinated and planned effectively.
“Despite deep funding cuts, councils fixed another two million potholes last year and continue to work flat out to repair the damage caused to our roads by last winter’s flooding. The extreme weather has exacerbated the roads crisis facing this country with our roads now in such disrepair that it will take more than a decade and £12 billion to bring them up to scratch.
“We share the frustration of motorists about the state of our roads. Decades of underfunding have trapped councils in an endless cycle of only being able to patch up our road network. We need increased and consistent funding for the widespread resurfacing projects we desperately need if we’re ever to see a long-term improvement.”
Peter Horton, managing director of LV= Road Rescue, said: “Local authorities face a difficult challenge to repair and maintain our roads this year, particularly given the impact of the adverse weather we have seen in recent months. With more cars on the road than ever, it will be hard to carry out roadworks without impacting drivers.”