The Yorkshire Post says: Pothole problems just part of wider transport woes

With punctuality on the railways at a 13-year low and bus service cuts particularly affecting rural areas, it is little surprise that millions of people remain reliant on their cars as their primary form of transport. But with the number of potholes being reported to local councils increasing by one-third in the past three years to more than 512,000, depending on the road network evidently carries its own problems.

More than half a million potholes were reported to local councils last year.

New research by the RAC strongly suggests the condition of the country’s roads is worsening, with unlucky drivers subjected to frustration and expense from damage to their vehicles.

The true extent of the problem is likely to be far worse than the official figures suggest, with thousands of potholes believed to be going unreported every year.

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The situation is particularly acute in rural areas, with one in five local roads in England and Wales in a poor condition after a decline in the frequency of road resurfacing, according to figures from the Asphalt Industry Alliance. However, it is pleasing to see several areas in this region, including North Yorkshire, have managed to buck the national trend, with the number of reported potholes falling.

Nevertheless, the Local Government Association has called for additional Government support to cash-strapped councils in dealing with the problem.

It says annually reinvesting a percentage of the money collected from existing fuel duty into local road maintenance would be help to assist in addressing a repair backlog estimated at almost £10bn.

The idea deserves serious consideration.

Whether travelling by road, rail or bus, people simply want to be able to get to and from their destinations on a reliable transport network with a minimum of disruption.

It should not be too much to ask from one of the wealthiest nations in the world.