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Potholes form top priority for local councillors

These are some of the findings in a survey conducted by road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

The organisation’s research found that 74% of councillors placed potholes in their top five road-safety priorities while 61% think that the budgets for repairing them will decrease or stay the same.

Almost half of councillors surveyed think that road safety targets should have been kept. A total of 58% of local councillors agree that budget cuts are having a negative impact on roads and road safety, with one in four councillors strongly agreeing.

Although councillors agreed that transport was a priority half of them thought that their transport budget would reduce in the next year.

Other key findings include:


  • 59% of councillors support 20mph speed limits, with 15% supporting 20mph for most urban roads.
  • 29% of councillors think that the government’s policies have been bad for road safety.
  • Councillors in the north of England are more likely to say they anticipate spending reductions while councillors in the south and east of England are less likely to report reductions in their transport budgets.


IAM chief executive Simon Best said: ‘It’s good to see that potholes are councillors’ top priority as this is a big concern for motorists. More must be done to fix our roads before the backlog of repairs becomes unmanageable.

‘The results show that different political parties offer the electorate real choice on their transport priorities. Conservative councillors are more likely to focus on road building, road surfaces and car parking, while Labour councillors appear to be more likely to prioritise road safety and the use of public transport. Liberal Democrats are more likely to focus on cycling and walking.’

He added: ‘Councillors say that road safety is a priority so they must put up a stronger fight to protect road safety budgets.  It’s also clear that there is a need to set up smart new targets that will help everyone in road safety focus on the highest risk groups in society.’

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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.