Many of the findings of this week’s Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) report highlight the lack of resources needed to stop the decline in the standard of the local road network.
The AIA forecasts that local authorities will need over £12B to bring the network up to the standard needed but trade membership body, the Road Haulage Association (RHA), considers that figure to be conservative.
Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett, said: “Predicting the time taken to bring the UK road network up to scratch cannot be considered to be an exact science, in the same way as you cannot predict the exact time needed to paint the Forth Road Bridge. And, like the Bridge, once the work is complete it’s time to start again.”
Burnett went on: “However, we are concerned that because of insufficient funding, local authorities have failed to maintain their infrastructure. This results in ever increasing repair costs and increased congestion. It also undermines safety for other road users.”
The RHA chief added: “Road hauliers move 85% of the UK economy, delivering food, clothing, houses and jobs. The roads are the transport operator’s main place of work, and the industry is doing its job. We expect infrastructure providers, working with central government, to get their act together and do theirs.”
Burnett concluded: “Today’s modern HGVs are no more damaging to our roads than they have been for many years, in fact quite the opposite. However, the damage to vehicle suspensions and tyres as a result of poorly maintained roads costs hauliers thousands of pounds each year”.