Drivers 'at risk of skidding' on a quarter of A roads in England

Motorists could be at risk of skidding on more than a quarter of England's A road network, official figures show.

Thursday, 23rd March 2017, 5:16 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:08 am
"It is paramount this funding discrepancy is swiftly plugged."

Some 26% of highways need "further investigation" because of fears they have an inadequate skid resistance when drivers brake, according to the Department for Transport (DfT).

London has the worst performance for A roads maintained by local authorities, at 45%.

The 26% skid risk on the A road network maintained by Highways England is the highest for that category since the data collection began in 2007/08.

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Separate DfT figures show more than 11,000 vehicles skidded in accidents on dry road surfaces in Britain in 2015.

AA president Edmund King said: "Potholes are bad enough, but not being able to stop in time adds another dimension to the danger faced by drivers and other road users.

"It means that, if a law-abiding driver is travelling within the speed limit and a child steps out, what may have been an avoidable accident could become a tragedy."

Mr King went on: "In monetary terms, cutbacks on road maintenance leading to more collisions and casualties passes the costs on to insurance claims and the NHS. And, sometimes, victims pay the ultimate price."

Martin Tett, transport spokesman at the Local Government Association, representing more than 370 councils in England and Wales, responded to the figures by saying funding for local roads is "unfair".

He told the Press Association: "It is wrong and unfair that the Government allocates almost 40 times more money per mile to maintaining national roads, which it controls, compared with local roads, which are overseen by councils.

"It is paramount this funding discrepancy is swiftly plugged."