A study in to the condition of Greater Manchester’s local road network has been published this week by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The annual research piece – now in its third successive year – uses Freedom of Information (FOI) requests at all 10 councils in GM to ascertain the number of complaints concerning potholes, the number of legal claims for damage to motor vehicles caused by them, as well as the amount of council investment in repairing local roads in the same year.
It reveals Salford is the best performing authority, with the fewest complaints concerning potholes as well as fewest legal claims for damage to motor vehicles in 2015/16. Salford, which came second last year, had 643 complaints relating to potholes for the year, compared to Manchester’s 7,193 – the highest of all the LA areas. See below for full table of results for all LAs.
FSB Manchester’s Regional Chair, Simon Edmondson, said local infrastructure played a part in economic productivity, and was therefore crucial.
“Small businesses need a dense, well-maintained road network to compete and grow,” he said. “Infrastructure investment is therefore the best way to improve productivity and connectivity.
“We know our members rely heavily on the local road networks to do business. Their staff, their customers, as well as trade deliveries, all rely on fast and efficient road networks. Poorly maintained infrastructure hampers growth, and presents a low rent image for inward investors.”
He added: “In Greater Manchester there were 26,524 complaints concerning potholes and damaged roads – that’s an increase on previous years and is equivalent to 73 complaints every single day. This tells a story that most road users, from bikes to bus drivers will, regrettably, be only too familiar with.
“Congratulations to Salford for coming top. On the back of 2nd last year it shows movement in the right direction. Not all councils are doing as well.”
Facts at a glance…
Oldham: Lord Lane, Failsworth, the borough’s most complained about road for three years running.
Wigan: borough with second biggest increase in complaints from previous year, 1,616 complaints up from 657.
Rochdale: borough boasting the largest increase in pothole complains, recording 10 x the number on the previous year – corresponds to the biggest fall in spending on road repairs of all GM authorities.
Manchester: complaints about potholes double over a two year period.
Trafford: over a 1,000 complaints more than the previous period.
Bury: records a big rise in pothole complaints, and records the highest number of claims for damage to motor vehicles in all of GM by a healthy margin.
Bolton: the highest spending local authority on road repairs + biggest increase in spending on previous year.
Stockport, Oldham, Tameside, Bolton, and Salford: all saw decreases in pothole complaints.