Unmaintained roads a symptom of chronic neglect, say Lib Dems

26 Feb 2024

Following on from recent shocking revelations about the state of Devon’s roads, Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate Phil Hutty has weighed in with a savage indictment of the current government’s long-term neglect of rural communities.

‘The deteriorating condition of our roads is a physical reminder of the chronic neglect and underfunding of our rural infrastructure. Almost any journey now involves swerving to avoid potholes or going over them and risking damage to your car. I was horrified to read that the situation has now got so bad that some people are not confident to travel even on our A roads.’

The issue was raised by Holsworthy councillor Lyndon Piper, who put forward a motion at Torridge District Council calling on the County Council to find solutions not only for the well-known scourge of potholes, but for problems like surface water drainage, blocked gullies, and broken footpaths.

But the problem is Devon-wide. Mr Hutty continued:

‘Just the other day I was watching a car with a damaged wheel being unloaded from a transporter in Tavistock. The garage owner told me that he is seeing this more and more. The lack of long-term vision from the Tories at every level of government is now having a disastrous effect on people’s lives.

Devon County Council has recently been allocated extra funding over the next eleven years to help address the backlog of road repairs, but Mr Hutty said this would not resolve the underlying problem:

‘Announcing pots of money as we dash towards an election is not the same as having a long term funded plan to ensure our roads our fit for our community everywhere. Roads need constant maintenance and local people are best placed to do this. This government has run down local government and it’s our rural far-flung communities that are suffering most.’

Phil Hutty examining the state of the roads in Bere Alston
Phil Hutty examining the state of the roads in Bere Alston

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