Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 12:22 UK

Poor roads 'increasing punctures'

Cars on motorway Copyright: VT Freeze Frame
The RAC says road surfaces are deteriorating

Poor road surfaces are leading to an increase in vehicle punctures, the RAC breakdown service has said.

The RAC said it had responded to 230,196 puncture call-outs last year, compared with 204,467 in 2006.

It is calling for increased government spending after more than three out of every four of its patrol personnel said Britain's roads had deteriorated.

But the Department for Transport said it had more than trebled funding to councils for road investment.

The RAC said punctures were the biggest single cause of breakdowns, but poor roads were also leading to an increase in vehicle suspension damage and chipped windscreens.

And 59% of RAC patrol personnel said poor quality roads were also having a detrimental effect on motorists' driving experiences.

Meanwhile 80% said roadworks in their area had increased, suggesting road improvement programmes are failing to deliver.

Roads have deteriorated - 77%
Poor roads effect motorists' driving experiences - 59%
Roadworks have increased - 80%

RAC patrolman of the year, Iain Vale, said: "Motorists are really getting a raw deal.

"Not only are drivers feeling the financial pinch, despite recent fuel price cuts, they also have to contend with poor quality roads, which can cause costly repairs to their vehicle."

"We're calling for the government to increase the level of investment to improve the standard of roads to reflect the revenue collected in motoring taxation - providing British motorists with the service they both deserve and continue to pay for."

But a Department for Transport spokesman said the government had announced new funding earlier this year to help local authorities better assess the condition of their roads.

"We are very clear that councils should implement a system of regular, well-managed maintenance - and not leave things until they deteriorate to the point that repairs become urgent and more costly," he added.

Call for review of motoring taxes
04 Jul 08 |  Business
Road pricing proposals rejected
05 Mar 08 |  West Midlands

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