Britain’s road network has been ‘neglected’ and needs urgent investment to prevent one in five carriageways from soon becoming unusable.

That’s according to the Road Haulage Association (RHA) after a report from the Asphalt Industry Alliance flagged up concerns.

The AIA’s study claims that a fifth of carriageways in England and Wales could be rendered unusable by 2023 and that more than 24,400 miles of road will need essential maintenance over the next 12 months.

However, local authorities in England and Wales report that the funds they receive and the amount they actually need to keep carriageways in reasonable order was almost £556 million – a shortfall of £3.3 million for each authority.

Additionally, it would now take 14 years to get local roads back into a reasonable and steady state, even if adequate funds and resources were available.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett wants central government and local authorities doing more in terms of prevention so roads aren’t littered with cracks waiting to turn into dangerous potholes that can cause collisions.

“Local roads where hauliers make their last-mile deliveries are often in a poor state and the damage they can cause to HGVs – in particular to their suspension systems – can be considerable,” he commented.

“More potholes means more breakdowns, more roadworks and more delays. And delays in a ‘just in time’ economy are disastrous for business.”

Ben Robb, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, added: “The RAC has seen a sharp increase in pothole-related breakdowns following the recent severe weather and it’s obvious local roads have suffered from years of neglect.”  

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