New figures show that resurfacing work of Britain’s roads has fallen significantly in recent years.
Analysis by the RAC of government data reveals that there has been a 29% reduction in the amount of roads being fully resurfaced over the last four years. In 2021/22, 1,123 miles of road were resurfaced in the UK, compared to 1,588 miles in 2017/18. The figures for surface dressing – a technique that helps extend the life of roads without full resurfacing – also show a huge fall in repair work being completed. 34% less surface dressing was done over the same time period.
Data from 153 roads authorities was included. 31% of roads authorities undertook no resurfacing, and the average length of road resurfaced by each authority was 13 miles. Kent did the most, covering 29 of its total of 502 miles of A roads.
“These figures paint an incredibly stark picture of road maintenance in England”, said Simon Williams, head of policy at the RAC. “They 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. The fact that such a large proportion haven’t done any surface dressing or resurfacing at all over a12-month period really does say it all,” said Williams. “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.
The Asphalt Industry Alliance has estimated that it wouldcost over £12 billion to address the backlog in road maintenance works, andtake 11 years to clear.