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Condition of Devon’s roads has ‘significantly improved’

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Extensive preventative work by highways teams has improved the overall condition of Devon’s roads, with 27 per cent fewer potholes recorded than four years ago

The figures coincide with National Pothole Day, an annual opportunity to take stock of the ‘health’ of the nation’s highways.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management says that in Devon the general state of the roads over the last four years has improved; in 2018, 67,989 potholes were recorded; in 2021 this number fell to 49,871.

Preventative work to extend the lives of many of the county’s roads has had a significant impact.
Additionally, Devon Highways is also using four Dragon Patchers across the county which carry out pothole repairs faster than traditional methods.

The number of potholes repaired by Dragon Patchers in Devon has increased from just over 1,700 in 2019/20 to more than 6,400 so far in this financial year.

This work has led to a continual improvement and is reflected in the Road Condition Index, used by the Department of Transport, which rates the overall condition of roads in an area.

According to the index, 621 miles (71 per cent) of ‘A’ roads and 296 miles (72 per cent) of ‘B’ roads are now rated as being in ‘good’ condition. These figures are up by four and three per cent respectively when compared to just 12 months ago.

But maintaining and improving the condition of the network is dependent on funding said Councillor Hughes:

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management said:

“There is a direct link to the condition of the roads and the amount of money we have to spend.
“The level of Government funding we have received has allowed us to invest an additional £30M into roads over the last four years.
“This has made a significant improvement. For instance, 20 per cent more minor roads are now classed as being in good condition.”