Potholes rated 'a bigger priority than road safety'


Potholes and general road maintenance are bigger issues for the majority of motorists than safety concerns, a new survey has suggested.

The poll of more than 2,100 road users found 70% felt the next government should make filling potholes its number one highways priority, while 64% called for the Government to give more attention to general road maintenance.

This is compared to 52% of respondents who said reducing the number of road accidents and casualties for all age groups should be a greater government concern.

The news comes as the latest Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey revealed the cost of bringing the local road network for England and Wales up to scratch has increased to £12.16bn from £12bn last year.

Conducted by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, the IAM, the survey also raised issues around the UK’s driving test with a significant percentage of motorists calling for changes.

More than 40% said the test is not fit for purpose and would like to see the Government make it more relevant to today’s driving landscape.

The IAM highlighted that road crashes cost the UK economy £15.6bn every year, with recent government figures suggesting the number of those killed or seriously injured on UK roads has increased by 4% as of September 2014 in comparison to 2013.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: ‘No government can be complacent about these figures and we all need to do more to reduce the numbers killed and injured on our roads.

‘Cuts in visible policing and road safety spending have had an impact. While these figures cannot be regarded as a trend, they are a major concern that the new Parliament must address.’

The fifth top priority for motorists was increasing the sentences for those guilty of serious motoring offences, with 39% of people wanting to see this happen.

The IAM is calling for changes to leaner driver procedures including practical tests on high speed roads and a graduated licensing system that ensures all new drivers undertake a minimum learning period prior to taking the practical test.


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