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60% of UK drivers think local road conditions are worse than they were a year ago, with 55% going so far as to say the standard of pothole repairs is poor, according to a recent survey from the RAC.

The 2022 survey, polling 3,102 drivers, revealed that 58% of drivers believe local roads have become worse in the past year, an increase of 2% from last year’s statistics and up from 52% in 2020.

In contrast, a mere 4% think local roads have improved in the past 12 months, down from 6% over the previous two years.

The most common complaint, raised by 98% of respondents, was related to road surface quality and potholes. More than half (55%) of respondents rated the standard of pothole repairs in their area as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

An additional 63% said they’d noticed fading road markings, up from 56% in 2021’s survey. Another 42% of drivers reported poor signage visibility while a further 35% grumbled about roadside litter. 

Nearly half of UK drivers (45%) ranked local road conditions as their top motoring concern, although more people (55%) were worried about rising fuel costs.

Commenting on the survey, Nicholas Lyes, RAC’s head of roads policy said: ‘“Many [drivers] describe the repair work – when it’s carried out – as being substandard, which more than likely means potholes and surface defects will quickly reappear, costing yet more money to fix.

“This seems to be utter madness and an issue that badly needs addressing if drivers’ views are indeed accurate. Unfortunately, we do still have a widespread funding shortfall meaning that many councils can’t afford to maintain and improve roads as they would like to.”

Cllr David Renard, the transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association, attributed the cost of living crisis to the poor condition of UK roads. He made the case that the organisation’s latest estimates show that the average cost of a pothole repair has increased by 25%, with the cost of running street lights nearly doubling.

He said: “Research shows that, even before current levels of inflation, existing levels of funding will lead to a gradual decline in road conditions.

“The Government should meet these increased costs in the upcoming Autumn Statement; otherwise they risk the current pothole repair backlog growing even longer and councils being forced to cut back on essential road repairs.”

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