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UK roads better, but less skid-resistant

20 April 2006

The condition of roads continues to improve, according to a Government survey released today - but motorists could find themselves more likely to skid in the wet.

There might be fewer potholes and crumbling carriageways according to the Department for Transport (DfT) report, but more roads than ever are under the spotlight for their poor anti-skid qualities in the wet.

Nearly one in five main roads around the country falls below the DfT's investigatory level and require further inspection. Although that's only a rise of 1% compared with the last report, almost half of London roads are under suspicion - an increase of 10%.

In other metropolitan areas, 28% of roads have suspect anti-skid qualities, up from 26% in the previous survey.

The AA Motoring Trust said it was seriously concerned about the amount of roads on the Governments skid list, and also sounded a note of caution over the improvement in overall condition.

Paul Watters of the trust said: 'Tough upcoming spending rounds could undermine the recent good work.'

Motorists at risk
Another annual survey of the conditions of roads also paints a less rosy picture than the DfT's study, however.

The Asphalt Industry Alliance survey of local authorities shows 85% of councils in England, and every Welsh authority, believes the poor condition of their roads puts motorists at risk.

The report also says the cost of repairing the backlog of works required has increased £800 million over the past year to £1.8 billion, and would take more than a decade to complete.

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