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Surveyors warn of road maintenance time bomb


GOVERNMENT CLAIMS that road maintenance standards are improving will be short lived unless annual budgets are increased by 50%, county surveyors warned this week The warning follows publication of the Department for Transport's (DfT) latest National Road Maintenance Condition Survey.

In it, the DfT claims the condition of some roads improved last year.

'But the fundamental problem is that there is still not enough money available after a long period of inadequate funding, ' said County Surveyors body CSS president Bob Wilkins.

Motorists' group the AA also expressed continued concern about maintenance trends.

'We are more pessimistic, ' it said 'We are by no means out of the woods on maintenance.'

The DfT's survey shows that the 12,000km of principal built-up roads and 26,000km of built up classified roads showed a marked reduction in defects.

But the much larger network of smaller unclassified roads shows smaller improvements in the 126,000km in built up areas.

There was also a substantial deterioration in 67,000km of rural lanes.

Taken overall the survey shows that road maintenance standards are worsening after two years of improvement to the end of 2003. But the DfT claimed there was a trend towards a long term overall improvement.

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