AA attacks 'disgrace' of poor road standards as a fifth fail safety test

One in five miles of A-roads in England failed a recent safety test by a leading motoring organisation.

In a report published today researchers from the AA Motoring Trust branded the nation's roads a "disgrace". The organisation said billions of pounds were required to improve standards of roads maintained by local authorities, which were costing hundreds of lives a year because of accidents.

The AA report found that 20 per cent of A-roads, equalling 3,400 miles, failed a basic skid test. Standards on B-roads and C-roads were even worse.

The Government needs to invest £300m over the next seven years because about one third of road bridges were too weak to carry current levels of traffic. Researchers found that about 250,000 lampposts had reached the end of their 30-year lives and were in danger of collapse.

The report made a mockery of the Government's 10-year plan to make Britain's transportation system the rival of any in Europe, according to the AA Motorist Trust director, John Dawson.

Mr Dawson said: "(The Government) now knows that the idea that Britain's transport could rival any in Europe by 2010 is plain silly while, in this country, we invest so much less than other European countries. It knows now that the rot on roads and bridges matches the rot on rail and underground."

Mr Dawson said more of the £38 billion a year that British road users pay in taxation needs to go into a trust fundpaid out only to local authorities who deliver a well-maintained and safe roads system.

Meanwhile, one of the Government's leading transport advisers has indicated a nationwide system of toll-charging is inevitable.Professor David Begg, who chairs the Commission for Integrated Transport, said the Transport Secretary Alistair Darling was "very serious" about road-charging measures to cut congestion. Professor Begg said the Government was considering the use of satellite tracking of car computers even for the smallest country lane. Charges of up to 16 pence per mile in congested areas would be offset by cuts in petrol costs and the abolition of tax discs.

Professor Begg told the Sunday Mirror: "It is now a matter of when, not if. Six months ago, it was on the shelf, but Mr Darling is now very serious about it. The Government has realised that there is only one way to reduce congestion and that does not mean trying to build a way out of it."

Britain's first pay motorway, the M6 Toll, near Birmingham, opened fully at the weekend. Professor Begg said nationwide such a scheme could reduce congestion by 30 per cent and pollution by 40 per cent.

Suggested Topics
News
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
newsBurt Reynolds, once among the most bankable actors in Hollywood, is set to auction his memorabilia
News
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
films
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: UX & Design Specialist

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

Opilio Recruitment: Digital Marketing Manager

£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Sales Manager

£60k - 80k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game