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The State Of Britain’s Roads

The State Of Britain’s Roads

Sometimes we might well wonder if our European masters have any awareness of the word ‘parity’. We also might wonder if our representatives were behind the door or in the car park having a fag when the money pot was opened (that we helped fill) and cash for roads was handed out.

Here’s an example. If you drive from Motril on the coast of Southern Spain and head up country to Grenada you will use the A44/E902 route (pictured). This is one of the finest pieces of smooth blacktop you will ever see, winding up through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada to that historic city. This road project was EU funded. We helped pay for it. Spain has many such roads. Certainly their economy is even worse than ours but all this happened before the current crisis.

We take you now to the beautiful country of Poland which, until recently, was in receipt of a 770 million pound (equivalent) funding exercise for road building projects until it was established that there was, basically, a bit of fiddling going on – some creative accounting, as it were. The upshot of this crookedness is that ultimately the cost to British taxpayers will be something in the order of £100 MILLION!

Moving on to more familiar territory, we arrive on a section of the A21 near Tunbridge Wells where, tragically, a young woman lost her life in a skid during heavy rain. Her sister was badly injured. The road surface was found to be entirely the reason for the crash following a botched re-surfacing job four years earlier.

This was a tragedy that need not have happened. It is now known that the Highways Agency and local officials had been aware of this dangerous road for up to two years prior given that there had been a spate of accidents. A year before this accident, one local resident demanded that a skid resistant surface be laid ‘before someone gets killed’. No action was taken and it took the death of this poor young woman to get a reaction from those responsible.

Authorities tell us that millions of potholes have been repaired. This is true but there is still plenty more that haven’t; but it isn’t just potholes, it is road surfaces in general. Our roads are in a terrible state because of decades of under-funding that has failed to keep pace with the volume of cars on the road. Where, in other words, is our EU road-funding package?

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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