Get Parliament to debate funding of the UK's dilapidated and crumbling road network
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In March 2017 Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson wrote to the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to outline serious concerns about the condition of the city’s roads and asking him to urgently review the council’s funding allocation. In it was revealed a backlog of carriageway and footway maintenance repairs costing approximately £440m to repair in total. The government’s contribution towards maintenance in the three year period since 2014 was £17.6m. In an effort to improve the situation another £5m from the sale of Liverpool Municipal buildings was used to further repair the roads.
Despite the above efforts, this is simply not enough. The general standard of roads in Liverpool is downright dangerous. The state of the roads in Liverpool as a whole means motorists often have to lurch and swerve severely across the road with little warning creating potentially dangerous situations for them and other road users. The situation is even worse for cyclists who risk being thrown off their bikes as a result of some of the massive craters in roads. Pedestrians too are also at risk, particularly the elderly and infirm when trying to navigate across these treacherous roads. Further adding to the danger is the fact road users are often looking down towards the road to try and avoid the latest pothole rather than concentrating ahead looking out for pedestrians and others.
In addition to the safety element, the deteriorating roads have significant economic impact. Punctures and damage to cars are a common consequence resulting in extra costs for road users. The local council is also liable for compensation claims for these repairs should a successful appeal be made and also for injuries suffered as a consequence of the shoddy roads. Time lost having vehicles repaired prevents people getting about and being able to contribute to the economy. It is also empirically proven that short-term patching up of pot holes is a cost ineffective solution and can cost up to ten times more than servicing an entire stretch of road as often the holes will soon return and require more short-term patching up.
The UK is the ninth richest country in the world by GDP however a recent survey of the standard of its road network placed it 27th behind such countries as Namibia and Ecuador. For a country so developed, we could and should be doing much better. The problems in Liverpool are reflected throughout the United Kingdom and represent chronic under investment and neglect by central government in crucial infrastructure.
Please sign this petition if you too have had enough and think it is time the funding of road maintenance was subject to a serious debate in Parliament in attempt to bring the road network of the United Kingdom to a standard where it is actually fit for purpose rather than the national embarrassment it currently is.
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