Charity hits out at funding cuts to ‘horrendous’ roads

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 March 2018

Pothole

Pothole

Archant

Weston’s ‘diabolical’ roads are at risk of becoming ‘undriveable’ as the Government prepares to slash maintenance funding for North Somerset’s ‘under-pressure’ highways network.

North Somerset Council looks set to lose out on almost £340,000 of Government highways funding in the next financial year – increasing the cuts to around £784,000 since 2016 – although a recent Department for Transport (DfT) survey declaring the district has some of the best roads in England.

But one of the area’s biggest road safety charities, Weston & Mendip Institute of Advanced Motorists, says the reduction is going to make the ‘horrendous’ roads even more dangerous for drivers.

Ken Crane, a national observer at the charity, said: “I just reckon the roads are absolutely diabolical.

“The dangers obviously are damage to cars and if the potholes are too big they can actually tear the steering wheel out of the driver’s hands and cause an accident.

“I also drive a motorbike and on two wheels it is absolutely horrendous.

“Unless they do something straight away the roads will deteriorate to the point where we won’t even be able to drive on them.

“When you look at the roads 50 years ago to now, there is no comparison.”

Figures from the Local Government Association show national roads – motorways and trunk roads – will receive 52 times more funding per mile compared to local networks by 2020.

The analysis suggests £1.1million is due to be spent on each mile of the country’s strategic road network from 2015-2020 compared to just £21,000 for local authority-maintained highways.

With more cars on the roads than ever before, Weston central ward councillor Mike Bell believes the funding strategy should be reversed.

He said: “Our local roads form vital arteries for our communities.

“But with almost 30 per cent more cars on the nation’s roads than in 2000, they are under more pressure than ever before.

“Spending 52 times more on improving our national roads while starving local roads of investment will only serve to speed vehicles up between increased delays and congestion on local roads.”

A national survey has found North Somerset has some of the best roads in England.

The DfT’s annual road conditions survey studies networks across the country to judge what percentage should be considered for maintenance.

In 2017 just one per cent of the district’s A roads were found to be in need of repair while the figure stands at four per cent for B and C roads – well below the eight per cent South West average.

Three per cent of unclassified roads are classed as in need of repair.

Other News Stories

37 minutes ago

More than £650,000 in allowances and expenses were claimed by North Somerset councillors last year.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

Soldiers visited a Mead Vale school to thank pupils.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

A hedgehog badly injured by a garden strimmer last year has been released back into the wild.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

The bus service which connects Weston-super-Mare to Bristol Airport has celebrated its first year anniversary.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:26

Weston-super-Mare’s seafront was packed yesterday (Saturday) as locals and residents turned their eyes to the skies to admire pilots’ skills in aeroplanes and helicopters.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

Weston-super-Mare Pride has opened a shop and box office in preparation for the event next month.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:41

A man was rescued from waist-deep water in the early hours of this morning (Sunday).

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

Weston Air show returns today (Sunday) with another spectacular display on the seafront scheduled, including the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The Royal Air Force (RAF) marked its 100th anniversary this year – and former serviceman Ken Delve has explored Weston-super-Mare’s links with the RAF.

Read more
Saturday, June 23, 2018

A bridge, which was unusable for some people, was not likely to be finished for seven years, it was reported 50 years ago. Here is the news from the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald in 1968.

Read more
Saturday, June 23, 2018

Aeroplanes of all shapes and sizes will soar over Weston-super-Mare this weekend for the return of the air festival, while you can also watch displays on the Beach Lawns for the Armed Forces Weekend. Here is the full schedule for everything you can enjoy and experience on Saturday and Sunday.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 15°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder