Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Councils: 19,000 roadworks ongoing

At present roadworks stretch for 789 miles, figures have shown
At present roadworks stretch for 789 miles, figures have shown

Motorists are having to contend with around 19,000 sets of roadworks at present, it has been revealed.

These works stretch for 789 miles - further than the distance between Land's End and John O'Groats.

In the last five years there have been more than two million roadworks projects started on UK roads, with some councils having thousands of schemes on the go,

The figures came from data from more than 80 British local authorities obtained following a request under the Freedom of Information Act from breakdown company Britannia Rescue. A survey by the company also showed drivers were clocking up almost 240 miles a year in their efforts to bypass the roadworks.

Among councils with a high number of works in their area were Essex County Council, with 6,000, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, with 2,066, and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in Yorkshire, with 1,815.

Councils with some of the longest stretches of roadworks in terms of miles were Cumbria County Council (217 miles) and Oxford City Council (207 miles).

The survey of 1,288 drivers also showed that roadworks were adding 43 minutes a week on average to motorists' journeys.

Over a third of the drivers questioned reported they had seen more road works in their area in the last year. Despite the increasing number of roadworks, many drivers believed the state of Britain's roads was not improving.

As many as 22% said highway repairs had actually made the quality of the roads worse, with 61% reckoning road quality in general was declining. Some 5% of drivers rated the condition of their local roads as "very good". Also, 27% of drivers said they had been caught up in roadworks where there was no advance notice of the work taking place, with 10% saying they had experienced road rage from a fellow motorist while stuck in roadworks.

Britannia Rescue managing director Peter Horton said: "With more cars on the road than ever, it is extremely difficult for the authorities to maintain the quality of our roads without impacting drivers. Sitting in traffic with the engine running for long periods of time can cause engine overheating and damage a car."

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