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Around one in 22 local authority bridges in UK are substandard

About 1 in 22 – nearly 5% – of the roughly 74,000 bridges to be found on the local road network are not fit to carry the heaviest vehicles now seen on our roads, according to research by the RAC Foundation.


Almost 5% of the roughly 74,000 bridges in the UK road network are not fit to carry the heaviest vehicles, finds RAC Foundation

The RAC Foundation’s analysis of data for the 2016-17 financial year – received from 204 of the 207 local highway authorities in England, Scotland and Wales – found almost 3,500 council-maintained road bridges in Great Britain are substandard – up from the 3,203 identified a year ago.

The one-off cost of bringing all the substandard bridges back up to perfect condition would be around £934m – equivalent to £271,000 per structure.

However, budget restrictions mean councils only anticipate 370 of these will have the necessary work carried out on them within the next five years.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “As council budgets continue to be squeezed by the growing pressure of social care these numbers are a stark illustration of the gloomy consequences for the quality and integrity of our local networks.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.