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Road drainage problems increasing

Thu, 14 Aug 2014

ROAD DRAINAGE during the mid-summer heatwave was no better than in the early-year floods, according to 40% of drivers.

A further 9% said drainage in June was even worse than during the winter downpours, the AA/Populus survey of more than 18,000 AA members showed.

Most dissatisfaction with the state of the roads in mid-summer was shown by drivers in Yorkshire and Humberside, with 46% of them reckoning drainage was no better than during the winter.

This compared with a figure of 30% for London drivers who, regionally, were the happiest with the state of their roads.

Releasing the details of the survey, the AA highlighted a section of a transport resilience review published last month by the Department for Transport.

This report stated: "Clearly, drainage systems are a key part of the road network. We were advised that many local authorities do not have comprehensive information records about these assets."

Another section of the report said: "Flooding severely impacted the local road network over the past winter and, with the prospect of a trend to wetter winters in future, LHAs (local highway authorities) face the prospect of that experience become more frequent, especially if drainage systems are not operating at their maximum effectiveness, because of inadequate maintenance regimes."

AA roads policy head Paul Watters said: "In the winter, while the UK was focused on 'biblical' rainfall in the West Country and the South, the North West and other parts of the country were also experiencing treacherous ponds and puddles on their roads – following normal rainfall."

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "The maintenance and clearance of drains and gullies on the local road network is the responsibility of local councils.

"The department announced over £180 million in March 2014 to help councils repair local roads damaged by the exceptional wet winter weather. This is in addition to the £950 million we are providing councils this financial year for highways maintenance."

By Peter Woodman, Press Association Transport Correspondent