Roads in disrepair as investment dries up

Analysis of government data has revealed that the number of miles of road resurfaced or treated has fallen to its lowest level in five years.

According to the RAC, 2021/2022 figures show that 1,123 miles of all types of road were resurfaced in England compared to 1,588 in 2017/2018 – this equates to a 29% reduction.

Meanwhile, surface dressing, which extends the life of the road, was applied to 3,551 miles in the last financial year compared to 5,345 five years ago, a 34% drop.

The RAC has now renewed its call for the government to change the way it funds local roads maintenance by ringfencing a proportion of money raised through fuel duty for road improvements.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “These figures paint an incredibly stark picture of road maintenance in England and confirm our worst fears about the overall decline in the state of the country’s roads. While the government has made more money available to authorities to fill potholes, it’s the general reduction in road improvement work that’s causing potholes to appear in the first place.

“Resurfacing is expensive but for some roads this will be the only course of action as they have fallen into such bad condition that nothing else can save them.