A study in to the condition of Cheshire’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 both Cheshire West & Cheshire East councils 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.
It reveals both authorities also spent considerably less on road repairs in the 2015/16 year compared to the previous years, particularly Cheshire East.
However, Cheshire East saw the number of pothole complaints fall by almost a thousand, down from 6,063 to 5,225. Conversely, Cheshire West saw complaints grow by 36%, up from 2,380 to 3,200. Legal claims for damage to motor vehicles saw Cheshire East increase from 156 in 2014/15 to 218 in 2015/16; while Cheshire West saw a decrease from 193 to 156.
FSB Regional Chair for Cheshire, 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: “Across Cheshire there were 8,425 complaints concerning potholes and damaged roads. While that’s only a small increase on previous years it’s equivalent to more than 23 complaints every single day. This tells a story that too many road users, and that’s not just car owners, will, regrettably be only too familiar with.”
“Congratulations to Cheshire East for posting an improvement.”