The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) in the North is urging local councils in the region not to cut back on vital repairs to B roads and other minor routes, which have been seriously damaged as a result of the recent freezing temperatures.
With councils across the region facing severe budget cuts, the CLA is sending out a reminder that minor roads provide a vital lifeline for rural businesses and need to be well maintained.
CLA North regional director Dorothy Fairburn said: “Freezing conditions always herald the start of the pothole season and while local councils are usually quick to repair damage to major roads they are often more tardy in their approach to minor routes.
“As the ongoing austerity measures continue to bite, we are seriously concerned that cash-starved councils will be tempted to further neglect rural roads, which are a key part of the infrastructure that underpins the rural economy.”
Recent research from the national campaign group SPARSE Rural revealed that some rural councils have see reductions in funding of up to nine percent compared to a national average of 4.48 percent.
According to the website potholes.co.uk, potholes are estimated to cause as many as 1 in 5 mechanical failures on UK roads, costing motorists an estimated £320 million every year.
Miss Fairburn added: “In the current economic climate rural businesses cannot afford to be further disadvantaged by having to pay hefty repair bills for vehicles damaged by potholes that should have been dealt with by the local council.”