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Nearly two thirds of motorists dissatisfied with condition of roads in Suffolk, data reveals

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Public satisfaction with Suffolk’s roads has improved in the last year but nearly two thirds of motorists are still not happy, new figures show.

Suffolk County Council’s scrutiny committee published the results of its 2019 National Highways and Transport public satisfaction survey, which found 34 per cent of respondents in Suffolk were satisfied with the county’s roads.

It marks an increase of six per cent on 2018, but is still below the 39 per cent rating from 2017.

A pothole can cause damage to a car (26832610)
A pothole can cause damage to a car (26832610)

According to the data, 34 per cent were satisfied with the quality of road repairs, while 44 per cent were happy with the time taken for roadworks to be completed – an improvement of five per cent.

Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Conservative cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Despite the reduction in funding received into highways, exacerbated by the increase in material and supply-chain costs, we are glad to see some improvements on where we were last year.

“This is testament to the concerted effort the service has made in surface dressing 1,000 miles of Suffolk’s roads and to fix smaller potholes faster.

“It is also positive to see the public feel our network is more accessible, especially with respect to those living with disabilities.

“This aside, there is more that needs to be done to ensure Suffolk’s residents and visitors can continue benefiting from well-maintained highways. We will be reviewing all response data and using this to inform an action plan.”

Despite the improvements, opinion over signposting of diversions fell by three per cent to 49 per cent, while 46 per cent felt cycle route information was adequate – two per cent down on 2018.

According to the report, the winter of 2017/18 was the worst for a decade, which caused a rapid deterioration of the road surface in many areas.

Jack Owen, Labour spokesman for highways at Suffolk County Council, said: “I have to be frank and say that I agree with these survey results – Suffolk’s roads are simply not up to scratch. In fact, they are pretty dreadful in places.

“This survey shows that two-thirds of people in Suffolk are not satisfied with the roads they use every day, which is pretty damning.

“Although there has been a small rise in satisfaction, it is still down on the 2017 figures, which themselves were nothing to write home about.

“We need to see rapid improvements on a road network which is a long way from being fit for purpose.”