POTHOLES SHOULD BE PRIORITY FOR FUTURE GOVERNMENT
April 13 2015.


The next government must make road safety a top priority with more than 50 per cent of motorists believing the current administration had not made the issue enough of a concern, according to a survey conducted by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).


A total of 2,156 people took part in the IAM survey throughout March 2015. The number one gripe amongst those who answered the poll said reducing the number of potholes should be the government’s number one action point, with 70 per cent of respondents voting for this.

With the backlog of repairs now topping £12 billion according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) (reference 1), the organisation stated funding a long term action plan must be an early priority for any new government.

The AIA also said at the end of March that money spent on filling 2.7 million potholes in the past year had been “wasted.”
The next biggest concern for road users was that of general road maintenance, with more than 64 per cent of those surveyed stating this needed more attention.

Third in the list was reducing the number of road accidents and casualties for all age groups, with 52 per cent of respondents saying it should be a greater government concern. Road crashes still cost the UK economy £15.6 billion every year (reference 2).

According to the Department for Transport the number of those killed or seriously injured on UK roads has increased by 4 per cent as of September 2014 in comparison to 2013 (reference 3).

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “No government can be complacent about these figures and we all need to do more to reduce the numbers killed and injured on our roads.

“Cuts in visible policing and road safety spending have had an impact. While these figures cannot be regarded as a trend, they are a major concern that the new Parliament must address.”

The fourth aspect of motoring life respondents wanted to see changed was the current driving test. The survey revealed over 41 per cent of motorists thought the UK driving test is not fit for purpose and would like to see the government make it more relevant to today’s driving landscape.

As part of the IAM’s key road safety goals, embracing changes to the driver training system can help reduce new driver risk in the first six months of solo driving. The IAM manifesto advocates the delivery of theory and hazard perception tests in education establishments, a practical test that includes high speed roads and a graduated licencing system that ensures all new drivers undertake a minimum learning period prior to taking the practical test (reference 4).

And rounding out the top five, respondents wanted to see an increase in sentences for those guilty of serious motoring offences, with 39 per cent of people wanting to see this happen.