Utility companies digging up roads are failing to properly patch them up

Botched roadworks cost �70 million each year

Bad road repairs are costing council taxpayers £70 million every year, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said.

Contractors digging up roads on behalf of utility companies are failing to properly patch them up and leaving councils to pick up the bill, the LGA says.

Workers dug two million holes in the roads across England and Wales last year, leaving a trail of tailbacks and expensive repairs behind them.

Some 360,000 were not completed to the agreed specification, with work either over-running, or roads not restored to their original condition.

Councils must be given stronger powers to ensure roadworks are timed to cause the minimum disruption to motorists, and to guarantee roads are repaired properly once work has finished, the LGA urges.

"Contractors should not be allowed to get away with botching road repairs and then leaving council taxpayers to foot the bill," said Cllr Peter Box, chairman of the LGA's economy and transport board.

"Roadworks are a pet hate of all motorists. Many would no doubt be surprised to learn that most road closures don't even result in the condition of roads improving and many actually make them worse."

AA president Edmund King said: "Road users, in particular those on two wheels, suffer disproportionately from botched road repairs.

"All too often when trenches are badly repaired you see a sunken section of road which can be treacherous for cyclists.

"Bad road repairs also lead to more potholes and certainly have contributed towards some of the record 2.2 million potholes on our roads last year.

"Botched road repairs are dangerous and cost road users dearly in injury and damage."

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