Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The State Of Britains Roads ...

Britains roads are under pressure.

Increasing heavy traffic, a few severe winters, higher repair costs, and dwindling highways funding (according to a report from the Audit Commission) mean that potholes are rife and always seem to be in the wrong place for cyclists and motorcyclists - i.e., in the left-hand 1.2m of the road.

This indicates to me three things:
  • Councils are ignoring the needs of cyclists and motorcyclists when briefing or contracting road engineers;
  • Councils seem to think they have enough insurance to cover injuries to cyclists and motorcyclists caused by damaged roads;
  • Very few councils have cyclists and motorcyclists to advise them;
The old (passe) argument about "cyclists and motorcyclists having less road rights because they contribute nothing or less to road maintenance budgets" is dead and buried, of course.

The very fact that traffic is increasing (as is the Road Fund Licence) while highways funding is dwindling breaks the imagined link that many have between the Road Fund Licence and Highway Maintenance Budgets - the link that was broken back in 1936.

Cyclists and motorcyclists are taxpayers and council charge payers too. We have a right to decent roads. After all, we do not cause traffic, we do not hold up other road users and we do not cause the damage to roads in the first place.

If we don't get it, we will vote at the next council elections for anyone who will give them to us - regardless of what colour rosette the councillor wears.