CTC tells Osborne maintaining roads is better than building them
CTC, the national cycling charity has joined other transport groups in calling on the Chancellor George Osborne to spend on maintaining existing roads rather than on expensive and damaging new roads schemes.
In a joint letter, CTC, Living Streets, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Sustrans and Campaign for Better Transport are urging the Chancellor to tackle the growing £10.5 billion deficit in road and footway maintenance by creating a Road Repair and Renewal Fund. Similar calls have been made by the RAC and by business groups including the CBI, Federation of Small Businesses and the British Chambers of Commerce.
If councils can be encouraged to look at introducing new cycle facilities whenever a road is being resurfaced, that would be a really cost-effective way of helping more people to discover cycling’s benefits – for their health, their quality of life and their wallets.
Gordon Seabright, CTC Chief Executive
However cyclists are disproportionately affected by poor road maintenance. As CTC’s Chief Executive Gordon Seabright explained:
“While drivers are rightly concerned at the damage that potholes can cause, cyclists view them as a really serious injury risk. In a typical year, at least 12% of compensation claims pursued by CTC on our members’ behalf are typically due to road maintenance defects.
To address the problem, CTC set up its Fill That Hole website which enables cyclists and others to report potholes and other maintenance defects straight to the right contact in the relevant highway authority, simply by clicking the location on an online map and describing the fault.
However CTC also believes councils need sufficient funding to get on top of the road maintenance backlog. Rather than a "worst first" policy of patching up potholes once they have already become dangerous or, worse still, paying out for injury damage claims due to potholes they had failed to fix, they need the resources that would allow them to plan full repairs to road surfaces on a preventative basis.
In this respect, CTC believes that a Road Repair and Renewal Fund could help improve cycling conditions in other ways too. Gordon Seabright explained:
“If councils can be encouraged to look at introducing new cycle facilities whenever a road is being resurfaced, that would be a really cost-effective way of helping more people to discover cycling’s benefits – for their health, their quality of life and their wallets.”