Road maintenance backlog "pressing issue"

Highways Reporters

The Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA) is backing the findings of the ALARM survey, which suggests local authority roads to be woefully underfunded and in a state of ‘terminal decline’.

The RSMA says its most recent survey of road markings on nearly 4,000km of England’s roads shows that half need some attention: more than 27 per cent of white lines are worn or missing and need replacing immediately; while a further 22.4 per cent need to be scheduled for replacement.

“The strategic road network is, at last, seeing a level of investment that should help to get the economy moving. But local roads are the life-blood of our communities and our daily lives: routes to hospitals, work, schools, shops, family, friends and entertainment,” says George Lee, Chief Executive of the RSMA.

“Adopting an asset management approach, increased collaboration and introducing rigorous efficiencies are holding the local network together – but those who manage the local authority road network cannot invest in equipment, skills and training with confidence without stable and strategic funding local authorities. They cannot continue to be squeezed without serious consequences for the whole country.”

He went on to say, “We welcomed the Chancellor’s recent announcement to invest £690m in tackling congestion on Local Authority roads but the ALARM survey highlights a massive long term issue on the maintenance and related safety of local authority roads that government needs to recognise, even if it cannot commit funds right now.

“The current maintenance backlog is a live and pressing issue that requires strategy, prioritisation and funding.”
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