Half of drivers (49%) surveyed for the 2019 RAC Report on Motoring say the condition and maintenance of the roads they use every day has got worse over the past 12 months.
The condition of local roads – that is all roads that are not motorways or major A-roads – has deteriorated since last year, primarily as a result of potholes and other road-surface problems. Only 11% believe the roads in their area have improved with 40% saying there was no real change in the past 12 months.
While potholes and related road-surface problems take most of the blame for worsening conditions, they are not drivers’ sole concerns. There has been a sharp rise in dissatisfaction about grass and foliage maintenance on local roadsides, with 22% of drivers saying this is one reason conditions are worse.
There has also been a doubling in the proportion of motorists who say signage visibility on local roads has deteriorated (8% to 17%). The RAC believes these two issues may be linked, with substandard foliage maintenance leading to an increase in signs being obscured by vegetation.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: ““The state of our roads is always one of the biggest bugbears for drivers. This year our research findings showed a third of drivers (33%) we surveyed listed the condition and maintenance of local roads as one of their top four concerns from a list of 20 motoring issues.
“Despite data from our patrols revealing fewer of the breakdowns they have attended this year have been related to pothole damage, it seems that drivers still feel that road surfaces are not as good as they should be.”