Condition of West Sussex roads revealed after inspections – and they are improving

The condition of major roads in West Sussex is improving, according to the Department of Transport.

Just three per cent of West Sussex’s 296 miles of council-run A roads were judged to be in need of maintenance, only 8.9 miles.

Road inspections were carried out in the 12 months to March 2018.

Across Britain, 717 miles of council-run A roads were deemed in need of maintenance

The examinations, done by scanner machines and human inspection, identify sections of road worn by use or affected by ruts, bumps or potholes. It is not clear from the figures how badly damaged the roads are.

In the previous 12 months, five per cent of A roads, or 14.8 miles, required maintenance.

The data also shows that four per cent of the B and C roads were in need of work.

Unclassified roads, small lanes used for local traffic, also required repairs, with eight per cent in need of maintenance.

In total, there are 2,311 miles of minor roads in West Sussex.

The area in the South East with the worst A roads is Brighton and Hove.

The highway inspections use a classification called the Road Condition Indicator, which categorises a road as green, amber or red, based on ruts and bumps.

If a part of a route is branded red it should be checked more regularly as it is likely to require maintenance.

Across Britain, 717 miles of council-run A roads were deemed in need of maintenance.

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said: “These figures will come as little surprise to both drivers and those on two wheels who continue to have to put up with using sub-standard roads.

“We believe Britain’s pothole problem has been caused by years of under investment, especially when it comes to local roads – with councils having to make some tough decisions about where to prioritise spending.

“It’s a sad reality that investment hasn’t been sufficient to guarantee the quality of these roads.”

The figures also show that road conditions are better than they were five years ago, when four per cent of West Sussex’s A roads were likely to be in need of repairs.

The condition of unclassified roads has improved, as from April 2012 to March 2013 23 per cent of minor roads required repairs.

These statistics only refer to West Sussex’s local authority run roads.

The majority of roads in the area are the responsibility of the county council while Highways England is in charge of the maintenance for motorways and some major A roads.

• Report by Ralph Blackburn, data reporter