Does this city have the roads most desperately in need of repair in the UK?
Around one in six of Bath’s B and C roads is in a state of ‘considerable deterioration’ and needs repair, according to recent data.
The latest figures from the Department for Transport show 16 per cent of the B and C road network in Bath and North East Somerset has been categorised as “red” by inspectors.
This means that when these roads were surveyed in 2018/19, they had a wide range of surface damage and deterioration – and were expected to need maintenance within the next 12 months.
That’s compared to 12 per cent of the network in 2017/18.
The Department for Transport said that the weather, road maintenance strategies, funding, levels of road traffic and congestion can all affect the condition of the network.
However, they also said that the latest statistics may have been affected by the cold and wintry weather conditions experienced in early 2018 in particular – otherwise known as the ‘Beast from the East’.
When looking at A roads and motorways, around 5 per cent of the network in Bath and North East Somerset is classed as category red – up from 3 per cent in 2017/18.
That’s compared to a national average of 3 per cent – although different parts of the country use different systems to measure disrepair, meaning the statistics are not consistent.
Around 7 per cent of minor roads in Bath and North East Somerset were classed as category red – compared to 3 per cent last year.
Minor or ‘unclassified’ roads include any public local roads that are not classed as A, B or C, and which are not residential streets or agricultural tracks.
Looking nationally, the condition of roads in England has stagnated since 2015/16.
Before this, there had been a gradual improvement in A, B and C roads since 2011 with fewer roads being classified as ‘red’.
Councillor Neil Butters, joint cabinet member for transport services, said: “Lack of funding for road repairs continues to be a major issue.
“Although the council receives a highways maintenance grant from the government each year this falls short of the amount needed to carry out all the required maintenance on all the district’s roads.
“The Department for Transport report details the roads surveyed in 2018/19. The council prioritised maintenance work on 40 roads across Bath and North East Somerset during 2019/20. This work has now largely been completed.
“It included carriageway resurfacing and major reconstruction work on Waterloo Road and Tyning Hill in Radstock, surface dressing on Stowey Road in Clutton, and micro asphalt surfacing on Manor Road in Keynsham.”