Britain’s road network is in a ‘hole’ lot of trouble

UKIP transport spokesman Jill Seymour has called for an urgent injection of cash to repair Britain’s crumbling road network, as the number of potholes reaches record-breaking levels.

Mrs Seymour, an MEP for the West Midlands, said it was time that highly-taxed motorists got back what they put into the chancellor’s coffers.

“One in five roads maintained by local authorities in Great Britain is now officially described as being in poor condition, or has been flagged up for further inspection,” she said.

“This is simply unacceptable at a time when there are record-breaking numbers of vehicles on our roads – paying taxes to the exchequer.

“Where is that taxation going? Based on this evidence, too little of it is being ploughed back into the highways network.”

Mrs Seymour added: “For far too long, drivers have been viewed as cash cows. Successive governments have been happy to take their money, but reluctant to give enough of it back.

“The winter’s cold snap has merely emphasised the appalling condition of our rapidly crumbling road network, which in many cases is posing a serious risk to people’s safety

“Compensation claims are on the increase from road users who feel the full force of these cavernous potholes – so a failure to invest in proper, long-standing repairs is false economy.

“As the RAC has quite rightly pointed out, the condition of many local roads was already on a knife edge before the cold snap, with a mounting backlog of potholes in need of repair.

“We are spending nearly 25% less on fixing these holes across the UK than we were a decade ago. So, what exactly are road users paying their taxes for these days?”

An investigation by the Asphalt Industry Alliance has found more than 39,300 kilometres of road across the UK have been identified as needing essential maintenance in the next year.

Mrs Seymour said: “While the Government presses stubbornly ahead with the HS2 rail link which now looks set to cost much more than the predicted £55 billion, our existing transport infrastructure is left to soldier on, becoming shabbier by the day.”