MINISTERS were last night accused of neglecting the condition of Britain’s “lethal” minor roads after figures revealed an 11 PER CENT plunge in investment.
Despite sky-high fuel duty and parking fines, the Department for Transport showed that spending on pothole-riven residential roads tumbled to the lowest levels for more than a decade in 2016-2017.
The fall from £2.09billion to £1.87billion came despite an admission that maintenance was required on nearly one in five B, C or unclassified roads.
Furious bosses at the AA said too many motorists were enduring pothole-marked roads on the way to work or school.
They added that cost-cutting measures such as switching off street lights at night had already cost lives.
Campaigners said the figures were “inexcusable”.
Howard Cox, co-founder of FairFuel UK, said: “Drivers are sick to death of paying out the highest motoring taxes in the world, whilst seeing roads descend further and further into third world standards.”
AA President Edmund King stormed: “Most journeys start and end on local roads, so while there is an argument to keep the fastest roads in good condition, we should not be neglecting local streets.
“Cost-cutting on UK roads has already contributed to 11 people losing their lives with the switching off of street lights. Potholes have contributed towards at least three cyclists’ lives.
“A systemic downgrading of inspections and repair standards for potholes introduces a new level of potential lethality.”
The Treasury rakes in nearly £28 billion a year from fuel duty.
Councils reported a £819 million profit from parking tickets and fines in 2016-2017. Yesterday’s DfT figures revealed that spending on motorways also fell in 2016-2017, from £976million to £896million.
Spending on ‘A’ roads rose from £1.2billion to £1.4billion.
A report a year ago claimed Britain’s roads were worse than poorer countries including Namibia and Ecuador. The Centre for Economics and Business Research placed Britain 27th in the world for road quality.
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