IAM calls on government to tackle potholes and road safety

First published in The Global Road Safety Review 2015 as Make potholes and road safety a priority – IAM

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has called on the new government to make road safety and the tackling of potholes a top priority.

The organisation carried out a survey of 2,156 people in March 2015 and found 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 US$17.6 billion according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), 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 are claimed to cost the UK economy US$23 billion every year.

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

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said that no government can be complacent about these figures. He claimed that cuts in visible policing and road safety spending have had an impact and said that while these figures cannot be regarded as a trend, they are a major concern that the new Parliament must address.