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New taskforce to tackle shoddy roadworks

The announcement follows new research that found repairs to poorly resurfaced roads cost taxpayers £435m over the past two years – the equivalent of filling eight million potholes.

The new taskforce will comprise councils, utility companies and business representatives and will look to reduce the cost and disruption caused by roadworks.

Cllr Peter Box, chair of the LGA's Economy and Transport Board, said: ‘Most roadworks are essential and in many cases carried out efficiently and to a good standard. However, all too often, the rush to get on to the next job leaves in its wake patches of shoddy resurfacing. Not only is the taxpayer left to foot the bill to do the resurfacing properly, it means needless frustration for motorists and thousands of pounds in lost trade for small businesses.

‘Thousands of hours of roadworks disruption – closed roads, blocked pavements, temporary traffic lights, noisy drilling, restricted parking – are totally avoidable if only contractors did the job properly and companies better coordinated their works. 

‘For many years people have been complaining about these problems but very little has changed. Hopefully now that councils, utility companies and businesses have agreed to work together something will be done so the disruption and frustration of motorists and traders is kept to a minimum.’

The announcement has been greeted by campaign website, Potholes.co.uk.

However the website, set up by automotive warranty specialist Warranty Direct in 2007, maintains that greater investment is still needed across the board to bring the UK’s crumbling road network up to scratch.

Warranty Direct’s Duncan McClure Fisher said: ‘We’ve always campaigned for the “patch and mend” mentality to be scrapped and for better funding to be made available to local authorities so they can do the job properly in the first place.

‘However, we won’t be holding our breath that the taskforce will magically improve Britain’s roads – our infrastructure needs greater investment across the board and this is just one small step in achieving that.’

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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.