Public survey says roads are priority for investment

Roads and highways have topped the list of areas that need investment, according to the latest public service satisfaction survey, published by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The quarterly survey monitors attitudes to key public services in the UK such as roads, public transport, water and waste facilities and energy supply to homes.

Roads and highways have remained the public’s first or second priority for more investment throughout 2010, following the severe weather of the 2009–10 winter that exacerbated existing road defects and led to a 40 per cent increase in the number of potholes.

This caused satisfaction on the state of UK roads and highways to drop from 60 per cent to 46 per cent.

The current survey, carried out in December, showed the impact of the severe weather on Britain’s roads and highways with public satisfaction falling significantly, from 59 per cent in Q3 to 50 per cent in Q4, and those who place it as first or second priority for investment rising six per cent. 

The results follow a 15 per cent cut to the Department for Transport’s budget in the October spending review and the subsequent announcement late in 2010 of further cuts to highway maintenance funding, up to 19 per cent on average across councils.