By Ian Dipple 03/09 Updated: 03/09 13:22
ALMOST a third of the county's roads are in need of repair or in a poor condition new figures show.
According to the GMB union Worcestershire's roads are the fourth worst in the West Midlands. A total of 26 per cent of Worcestershire's roads are classed as amber, meaning they are showing some deterioration, and four per cent are classed as red with action required.
Joe Morgan, GMB regional secretary, said the figures made it clear the region's roads were in a shocking state.
"Many roads are so broken up and strewn with potholes motorists are suffering damage to wheels and suspension, with compensation claims up by 40 per cent in some parts of the country," he said.
"Local authorities are cutting back on road maintenance because of the budget cuts forced on them by the Government so the problem is likely to get worse. Indeed, even when repairs are being carried out it is often done on the cheap to a low standard so it’s soon in a mess again."
But a spokesman for the council rejected claims the county's roads were in a shocking state or they were cutting back on funding. The council's own figures show out of 2,539 miles of highway it is responsible for, since 2009 the number of main roads classed as in need of repair has fallen from 4.7 per cent to 3.8 per cent and B roads from 6.6 per cent to 6.4 per cent. Compensation claims have also more than halved from 768 in 2010/11 to 346 in 2011/12.
The spokesman added over the last five years about £35million had been invested into road improvement projects and over the summer a £3.8million surface dressing programme was being carried out to extend the life of 350 roads countywide.
"This capital investment is in addition to the general day-to-day highways maintenance that occurs throughout the year and includes things like the repairing of potholes and defects – the numbers of which have significantly reduced over the last two years.
"Highways have been identified by the people of Worcestershire as a key priority, which is why we've shown this level of commitment to making things better.
"We recognise there's more that can be done and we will continue with that work."
Residents can report road problems by visiting www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/report--a-highway-problem.aspx or call the Worcestershire Hub on 0845 607 2005.
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