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Growing divide in road condition across country as one in six face failure - report

Lee Baker
28 March 2017
Unclassified roads are resurfaced every 87 years in England on average
Unclassified roads are resurfaced every 87 years in England on average


One in six roads are nearing the end of their life as local authorities continue to keep a lid on the road repairs backlog by not fixing the worst roads first, according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance. 

The backlog of repairs stands at £12bn for the fourth year running as authorities manage to use scarcely increasing budgets - edging up from £19.8m to £21.8m for the average authority in England outside the capital but falling in London and Wales - to increase the proportion of their roads in 'good' condition, with 15 years or more life, to 53%, the annual ALARM survey suggests. But at the same time more of the network deteriorated to the extent that it has five or less years of life left.

Alan MacKenzie, chairman, Asphalt Industry Alliance, said: "Cash-strapped highway teams have to prioritise maintenance activity, with a disastrous effect on overall road condition... The number of roads classed as poor increasing is not sustainable."

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