ICE survey reveals growing public concern over roads

Public satisfaction with the state of roads and highways in the UK has plummeted to its lowest level, according to a public service satisfaction survey by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Just under a third of respondents said they were satisfied with the quality of the UK’s roads and highways, a drop from the 50% recorded in the last quarter of 2010. The ICE attributes the sharp fall to the increasing prevalence of pot holes caused by periods of extreme weather.

Following on from this 61% of respondents ranked roads and highways as their first or second priority for more investment.

The ICE survey also showed:

  • 52% are satisfied with public transport services (down from 63% in Q4 2010)
  • 72% are satisfied with electricity and gas supply to homes (down from 78% in Q4 ‘10)
  • 67% are satisfied with rubbish and waste disposal services (down from 80% in Q4 ‘10)
  • 52% are satisfied with the provision of flood defences (down from 61% in Q4 ‘10)
  • 80% are satisfied with drinking water and sewage services (down from 91% in Q4 ’10)

Growing public dissatisfaction with UK roads comes on the back of a recent Asphalt Industry Alliance survey, which revealed the number of potholes over the last year had tipped the two million mark for the first time – an increase of 59% on the previous year. The increase has raised road repair bills to a record £10.7bn, up from £9.5bn in 2010.

Commenting on the survey results Geoff French, vice president of ICE, said: “Planned, preventative maintenance that lasts is needed to ensure our roads are resilient against the winter weather conditions we are seeing now and is more cost effective in the long term.

“But in these austere times, we know it is difficult to fund this approach. Local authorities must therefore have a coherent and transparent strategy for how to best deal with the situation in their area given the financial constraints.”