Yorkshire’s pothole riddled roads are worst in England

ROADS in Yorkshire are riddled with more potholes than anywhere else in the country, with an average of 8.5 per mile, a survey has found.

And pavements and paths in the region are blighted with with nearly four per mile according to the AA - worse than anywhere in England or Scotland.

But improvements are on the way after the Department for Transport announced an extra £20.8m for highways maintenance in Yorkshire and the Humber yesterday.

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The cash is part of a £333 million fund announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement for essential work to renew, repair and extend the life of England’s roads, on top of the £3bn the Government is already providing towards highways maintenance up to 2015.

As well as filling in potholes and resurfacing roads, the money could be spent on repairing damage to flood-hit routes.

The largest share of more than £6m has been allocated to North Yorkshire, which faced a £3m repair bill after the September floods.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This extra money will support economic growth and development by helping local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber to get the best out of their local road networks.

“This funding can be spent on measures to bring smoother, safer and more reliable journeys to the travelling public whether they are commuting to work or taking the children to school.”

UK roads have already improved slightly since last year, AA members observed as they took to the streets to assess the condition of roads in their neighbourhoods.

Hundreds of members volunteered to walk a route of their choosing in their local area for around 60 minutes – typically covering around two miles - and record any defects they saw.

They discovered an average of 12.5 potholes this year, down from 14.9 last year.

But bad patch-up jobs were seen 7.8 times in the average survey - up from 6.2 last year - and half of all road repairs were felt to be a hazard to cyclists.

AA president Edmund King said: “Although patching up the roads after last winter’s ravages has brought some improvement, their condition is on a knife-edge and drivers are still likely to have to dodge potholes.

“We are once again grateful to our loyal band of AA Streetwatchers who have gone out and helped us take a snapshot of road and path conditions in their local area.

“This year they did noted some improvement but also continuing problems on the ground.

“Their main concern was, once more, potholes which blight some neighbourhoods, pose danger and risk damage for all road users.

“We also had individual reports of deep potholes which are a total menace in the dark or in rain when often they are not spotted until it is too late. The deep potholes damage tyres and wheels and are a major safety risk for cyclists and motorcyclists.”

The survey’s findings and the announcement of extra funding follow a warning from the Local Government Association (LGA) in October that potholes would become a serious problem this winter as council budget cuts bite.

Wakefield council leader Peter Box, chairman of the LGA’s economy and transport board, said at the time that Whitehall funding for local road repairs had not kept pace with demand for decades.

“Councils have long told successive governments prevention is better than cure and we need a serious commitment from Whitehall to fund widespread resurfacing of our road network.

“This will save billions of pounds down the line, make roads safer for motorists and reduce compensation costs on councils.”

The Yorkshire Post revealed earlier this year that it would cost £700m to bring the region’s 20,000-mile road network back to an acceptable state of repair.

In Sheffield, which faced the biggest repair bill of £150m, the £2bn Streets Ahead scheme to improve every one of the city’s roads over the next 25 years is now underway.