One in seven Sunderland roads not in ‘good condition’ - but Wearside is still among the best

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Research carried out by a major motor insurance organisation suggests that Sunderland is among the best areas in England for the quality of its roads – even though one in seven of the city’s roads was not considered to be in ‘good condition’.

Comparethemarket analysed government data on road conditions in local authorities across the country and found that Sunderland’s roads were sixth best, with 85.5% of its roads in good condition.

However, that suggests that 14.5% of the city’s roads aren’t in good condition, equating to one in seven falling below that standard.

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Top of the table was Redcar and Cleveland with 90.5% in good condition, followed by Stockton and Leeds tying on 88%.

The surface on this stretch of Durham Road is in good condition.The surface on this stretch of Durham Road is in good condition.
The surface on this stretch of Durham Road is in good condition.

The worst local authority roads in England according to the analysis are Bristol’s, with just 78.5%, meaning that more than one road in five there does not make the grade.

According to the Local Government Association, the Government spent 31 times more per mile maintaining motorways and A roads in 2023 than on funding councils to repair local roads.

The LGA’s figures show Government spending of £192,000 per mile on maintaining strategic roads major trunk roads, compared to £6,000 per mile on fixing local roads.

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Sunderland City Council says there has been a real terms cut in road investment by central government.

The council’s cabinet member for Dynamic City, Cllr Kevin Johnston, said: “The city’s highway network is very important for economic development and growth, and its many social, community and business benefits cannot be overstated.

“Providing access to employment and other key services makes a well-maintained, safe and accessible highway network vital for a vibrant economy and a sense of place.

“The council uses digital survey information, traffic volumes, feedback from local councillors, residents and other highways users in developing its annual work programme.

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“We are continuing to invest in our highways with more than £7million allocated for the next 12 months.

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“Nationally, Government investment in highway maintenance has reduced in real terms with an estimated backlog of around £12bn across England and Wales, and we have to manage our assets within our allocated funding.

“With our colleagues in the region and nationally, we are continuing to press and lobby the Government for more sustainable investment in our highways and transport networks.”