BRITS lives are being put in danger by a “pothole plague” on the country’s decaying local road network, powerful MPs declared last night.
The Transport Select Committee said nearly £10 billion was needed to fix roads – and demanded the next PM set up a five year plan.
And they pointed out that the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured because of ‘defective’ roads had tripled since 2005 to at least 15 a year.
The Committee said the “national scandal” was also damaging cars that and leaving the elderly too “afraid to leave their homes”.
Committee chair Labour’s Lilian Greenwood urged the Government to set up a ring-fenced fund for roads – claiming cash-strapped councils were having to raid transport budgets to plug other needs such as social care.
She stormed: “Local roads are the arteries of our villages, towns and cities.
“But most people won’t have to go further than the local shops to spot a pothole that poses a risk of injury or damage.”
She told The Sun: “Potholes don’t just cause damage to vehicles, they are dangerous – posing a very serious risk to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. It’s a national scandal.”
Campaigners claim there are at least half a million potholes on British roads – with East Sussex the worst affected area.
The Asphalt Industry Alliance in March warned that 11 per cent of the English local road network was in poor condition.
And it warned that 22,000 miles-worth was likely to require maintenance this year. It believes it will take a decade to get local roads back into a reasonable “steady state”.
A one-time “catch up” maintenance programme would cost £9.8 billion.
The RAC urged the Government to build up a £5 billion fund by ring-fencing 2p out of every 58p per litre spent by motorists in fuel duty when they fill up at the petrol pump.
Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy, said: “The report reinforces what drivers have been telling us for some time: too many local roads are in a woeful state.
“Indeed, last year drivers told us that the state of these roads was their biggest overall motoring concern.”
The World Economic Forum last year claimed Britain’s roads were ranked 27th in the world in terms of quality – below Chile, Cyprus and Oman.
A DFT spokesman said: “We know potholes are a nuisance and a hazard for all road users, particularly for cyclists and motorcyclists.
“To improve local roads we are providing councils with £6.6billion between 2015 and 2020, which includes more than £700million for extra maintenance.
“We are also investing in trials on new road materials and repair techniques as well as using technologies to help councils predict when roads will need repairs and prevent potholes.”