IAM: Government cuts mean councils will spend less on winter roads
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is warning that many of Britain’s roads will become more hazardous for motorists as the frosts and local council cuts bite. In spite of the last two winters of severe cold, snow and ice, many councils are planning to cut back on winter road services, including salting. The suggestion is that this could lead to more accidents. Last year there was a 37 per cent increase in the number of cars overturning in snow and ice, according to the IAM.
The association reports that budget estimates from the Department for Communities and Local Government show a 3.6 per cent decrease in estimated spending for salting roads, snowploughing, and standby arrangements across England. This represents a significant cut including inflation. What’s more 67 councils appear to be reducing the amount they are spending on winter road services, with 33 budgeting more than 10 per cent less than last year. And what the IAM highlights as most worrying is that 21 councils appear to have budgeted over 30 per cent less than they did last year.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Roads are essential for the economy – not only in rural areas where cars are the only way to get around but also on the main routes that keep our economy moving. Ambulances, supermarket food deliveries, meals on wheels, utilities, even the armed forces, all rely on having a usable road network. Last year, parts of Scotland nearly ran out of food and fuel. The 24-hour, just-in-time logistics system simply wasn’t able to cope with the weather.”