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Drivers feel Suffolk’s roads are among worst in country, according to new survey

PUBLISHED: 13:42 14 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:24 20 December 2018

Only 28% of people were happy with Suffolk's road surfaces. Picture: ARCHANT

Only 28% of people were happy with Suffolk's road surfaces. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Drivers believe that Suffolk has some of the worst roads in the country according to a nationwide survey of the state of Britain’s highways.

Deputy council leader Mary Evans. Picture: GREGG BROWNDeputy council leader Mary Evans. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Only 28% of road users are satisfied with the surfaces of Suffolk highways according to the National Highways and Transport (NHT) survey carried out in the spring.

And the county came bottom of the league table for the condition of its road signs and 26th out of 28 authorities for the condition of road markings.

The findings will be reported to the county’s scrutiny committee on Wednesday, December 19, when it looks at how the highways department is operating.

Deputy county council leader Mary Evans is responsible for highways at the authority. She said: “As disappointing as these results are, they aptly reflect a snapshot in time and absolutely justify my reasons for launching the major review into the highways service back in June.

Labour transport spokesman Jack Owen. Picture: SUFFOLK LABOUR GROUPLabour transport spokesman Jack Owen. Picture: SUFFOLK LABOUR GROUP

“The NHT survey was sent to residents following a particularly difficult winter season, when our road network was damaged by the elements – however, despite these unprecedented challenges, it was clear that some key changes needed to happen to support the improvements of this widely used service.”

The report did show that Suffolk’s gritting team was considered one of the best in the country – although even here the satisfaction fell compared with the 2017 survey.

In June the county launched the Highways Major Review, aimed at improving the way Suffolk’s roads are maintained. This has already led to changes in the way the county’s roads are maintained.

However the Labour opposition was not impressed. Transport spokesman Jack Owen said: “The Tories call these results disappointing, I call them an embarrassment.

“72% of people are dissatisfied with the state of Suffolk’s roads and I am surprised it is that low to be honest. The Tories are trying to sugarcoat these disastrous figures, but residents continue to pay the price of years of neglect.

“Next year, the council will cut funding for road gritting in the budget and a winter only half as bad as last year will mean even greater destruction of our road network over the coming months.

“The Tories keep washing their hands of responsibility by asking parish and town councils, as well as local residents, to do more work on the roads.”

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