Revealed: the poor condition of hundreds of miles of roads across the East Riding

Brake, which campaigns for road safety, says damaged roads 'can contribute to potentially devastating crashes'.
Brake, which campaigns for road safety, says damaged roads 'can contribute to potentially devastating crashes'.

The poor condition of hundreds of miles of the East Riding roads could leave drivers, bikers and cyclists facing “devastating crashes”, figures suggest.

The charity Brake is joining calls by other organisations for a significant boost to maintenance funding to help people stay safe and avert potentially costly repairs.

Department for Transport figures show that 12% of the East Riding of Yorkshire’s council-run roads – around 256 miles – were likely to have considerable deterioration in 2018-19.

They include 20% of unclassified roads, around 222 miles – 1% of A roads and motorways, and 4% of B and C roads.

Roads that are likely to show considerable deterioration are categorised as “poor”, and may need maintenance within the next 12 months.

Councils use human inspection or scanning machines to assess the state of a road’s surface, although the exact technique can vary between local authorities.

Brake, which campaigns for road safety, says damaged roads “can contribute to potentially devastating crashes, with cyclists and motorcyclists most at risk”.

A spokesman added: “Investment in our road network is a must to help prevent the huge cost to society of a serious crash.”

A spokesman for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “The report uses information gathered by the Department for Transport relating to road condition across the country, and identifies areas where the condition of the roads means that it might be appropriate to undertake planned maintenance at some point in the future.

“The survey appraises condition only and makes no assessment of the safety of the highways. It is therefore not appropriate to suggest that the results will lead to ‘devastating crashes’ and it is disappointing that the data has been interpreted this way.

“All roads in the East Riding are routinely inspected to assess any issues which may affect safety and ensure appropriate action is taken if required.

“A more reasonable assessment of our roads would be that a relatively low percentage overall are in a poor state, but are safe for the public to use.

“The council has consistently secured additional funding over and above our standard grant allocation to maintain and improve the state of our highways. However, the council would welcome any further additional funding, which would allow us to deliver even more highway maintenance works on routes across the East Riding.”

Roads minister Baroness Vere said travelling on poor road surfaces is “not only frustrating but also incredibly hazardous”. She added: “That is why we are providing councils with more than £6.6 billion between 2015 and 2020 to help them repair damaged roads, and why we are also looking at innovative ways to help tackle this problem, such as trialling new materials and repair techniques.”