New data reveals how many are satisfied with Suffolk’s roads
Public satisfaction with Suffolk’s roads has improved in the last year, new figures show – but nearly two thirds are not happy.
Suffolk County Council's scrutiny committee has published the results of the 2019 National Highways and Transport public satisfaction survey, which found 34% of respondents in Suffolk were satisfied with the condition of the county's roads.
It marks an increase of 6% on 2018, but is still below the 39% rating from 2017.
According to the data, 34% were satisfied with the quality of road repairs, while 44% were happy with the time taken for roadworks to be completed - an improvement of 5%.
Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council's Conservative cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: "The National Highways and Transport survey is one way in which we gauge what the public think of the services we provide countywide, whilst positioning us against other highways authorities across the UK.
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"Despite the year-on-year reduction in funding received into highways; exacerbated by the increase in material and supply-chain costs, we are glad to see some improvements on where we were last year.
"One key element of this is related to the condition of the highway network, which has seen a 6% increase in satisfaction from last year.
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"This is testament to the concerted effort the service has made in surface dressing 1,000 miles of Suffolk's roads and to fix smaller potholes, faster.
"It is also positive to see the public feel our network is more accessible, especially in respect to those living with disabilities.
"This aside, there is more that needs to be done to ensure Suffolk's residents and visitors can continue benefitting from well-maintained highways. We will be reviewing all response data and using this to inform an action plan."
Despite the improvements, opinion over signposting of diversions had fallen by 3% down to 49% while 46% felt cycle route information was adequate - 2% down on 2018.
According to the report, the winter of 2017/18 was the worst for a decade which caused a rapid deterioration of the road surface in many areas.
It prompted a blitz of potholes, tackling three times as many potholes than usual from May-September 2018.
Councillor Jack Owen, Labour spokesman for highways, at Suffolk County Council, said: "I have to be frank and say that I agree with these survey results - Suffolk's roads are simply not up to scratch. In fact, they are pretty dreadful in places.
"This survey shows that two-thirds of people in Suffolk are not satisfied with the roads they use every day which is pretty damning. Although there has been a small rise in satisfaction, it is still down on the 2017 figures, which themselves were nothing to write home about.
"We need to see rapid improvements on a road network which is a long way from being fit for purpose."