Budget pothole fund not nearly enough for disillusioned drivers, say IAM RoadSmart

Leading road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has said while the £420 million in new investment in tackling Britain’s pothole crisis is welcome, it doesn’t go nearly far enough and is merely a drop in the ocean to deal with a long-term and major issue.
The 29 October budget saw Chancellor Philip Hammond announce the cash injection for our beleaguered roads, alongside a £28.8 billion fund to upgrade England’s motorways.
Mr Hammond announced £25.5 billion for Highways England for major road upgrades between 2020 and 2025 and an extra £3.5 billion of funding allocated to major local routes, under the jurisdiction of local councils. The £420 million for potholes is on top of an existing fund of almost £300 million.
However just three months ago IAM RoadSmart conducted a survey of over 7,000 of its members, finding how disillusioned they had become with Britain’s rotten roads.
Over 3,400 respondents said they had experienced damage to their car, commercial vehicle, motorbike or bicycle, or personal injury as a result of hitting a pothole.
Around 90% had spotted a deterioration of some level in the roads they use with just over half rating the state of their roads as ‘much worse’ in the past three years and 38% rating them ‘worse.’
Close to 6,000 people said they have noticed ‘many more’ potholes in the past three years, and over half said they have to take avoiding action on every journey to dodge potholes, while 27% said they have to steer around a pothole every day.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “IAM RoadSmart welcomes the commitments to building more modern safe highways. What we really need to see however is the same long-term funding approach applied to potholes.
Extra money is always welcome but when it arrives unpredictably for one year at a time it does little to help the long term planning needed to really attack the pothole problems drivers and riders see and feel every day.”

What’s a roundabout? IAM RoadSmart reveals shocking lack of road knowledge by UK drivers

A survey conducted by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, found that many drivers have a real lack of awareness of the rules of the road, putting themselves and others in danger.
More than 50% admitted their road knowledge was so poor, they didn’t recognise the roundabout sign.
More than two-thirds of drivers admitted they had no understanding of the two second rule.
Over 1,000 motorists participated in the survey for IAM RoadSmart to test their knowledge of the Highway Code.
Some 68% of drivers were unaware of the two-second following distance in dry weather, with 53% confusing this for two car lengths. This results in a gap of less than a third of a second when travelling at 60mph, for an average-sized family car.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “This is truly shocking. The outcome of the survey brings to light some frightening statistics which demonstrates the need to constantly re-fresh on-road knowledge.”
The survey also found that only 43% correctly recognised the Highway Code ‘dual carriageway ends’ sign, with respondents aged between 17 and 39 being the largest group to answer this incorrectly.
When asked what to do when arriving to a scene of a serious crash, almost half (48%) were unaware that the first thing you need to do is to warn others of the danger by turning on hazard lights.
Of those who participated, over half were not able to identify that a circle shaped sign demonstrates traffic signs that give orders – a crucial piece of information when on the road. Drivers aged 70 onwards statistically scored below average on this question.
Worryingly, two-thirds of those surveyed admitted they were unable to recognise the colour of the reflective studs between a motorway and its slip road, with only one in five (20%) of those aged 17 to 39 answering correctly that they are green.
Neil said: “With many young drivers showing high levels of traffic sign ignorance these results reinforce IAM RoadSmart’s view that road safety education should be taught as part of the National Curriculum in schools to prepare teenagers for their future driving career.
“Many drivers don’t look at the Highway Code regularly after they’ve passed their test, but no-one’s memory is perfect and it’s crucial to read and understand the most recent version of the Highway Code for the safety of all road users.”