All the UK’s local roads are deteriorating, as most readers will no doubt be able to confirm by personal experience. Currently the UK ranks 24th in the world for the quality of its road infrastructure. Councils are facing increasingly tight budget constraints, and are finding their ability to provide proactive (rather than reactive) road maintenance severely reduced.
Ninety-eight percent of the UK’s roads are ‘local’. The remaining 2%, including the Highways Agency-controlled strategic motorways and ‘A’ trunk roads, carry the largest volume of traffic. So for most, if not all of us, journeys start and end predominantly on the local road network.
In this article we take the county of Lincolnshire as a case study. Lincolnshire’s remote and agricultural setting underlines the importance of the local network, both economically and socially, especially given the county’s poor railway infrastructure. Road defects therefore create strong public reaction – especially when left untended.