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More commitment is needed to improve road conditions, says IAM

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Councils need to commit to long term funding to see progress with the UK’s pothole crisis, according to road safety charity IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists).  The IAM recently surveyed local highway authorities to chart progress on implementing the key recommendations for the Pothole Review twelve months on.

Results show that councils are adopting new policies and are being much more open about how and when they will fill in potholes. • Forty-seven per cent of councils surveyed said that had published a report giving details on their repair policy and eighty-five per cent say they have clear definitions of what a pothole actually looks like. • Seventy-seven per cent of authorities publish clear information on their response time for repairs. • Fifty-seven per cent adopt innovative communication channels to make it easier for the general public to report a pothole.

The Pothole Review has led to significant changes in the way that councils repair roads.  Fifty-nine per cent of councils said that now they adopt a ‘prevention is better than cure’ approach and seventy-one per cent say that permanent repairs are their first choice when dealing with damaged roads.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “It’s probably too early to say that the Pothole Review has been a total success, but the early indications are mostly positive.  Communication with drivers and riders has improved and permanent repairs are now being used in place of constant patching.

“The building blocks are in place but the fact that complaints still seem to be rising means they have a real challenge on their hands.  At least in future that challenge and their response will be quantified and public and we will be watching for signs of real progress on the street.”

“The IAM recognise that it will take time to deliver the quality of roads we want but the lack of long term budgets in many councils is a real worry.  We may now know what constitutes a pothole but without consistent funding many will still go unrepaired storing up even more long term damage for the future.”

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