Contrary to popular belief, our roads are getting better. But only slightly...

English roads have improved slightly over the past decade, according to a government report on road surfaces.

The Road Conditions in England 2017 report, which lays out how much of the road network should be considered for maintenance, shows that the number of A-, B- and C-roads requiring improvement has fallen slightly since the 2007/08 financial year.

Just three percent of A-roads managed by local authorities are in need of remedial work – down from five percent in 2007/08 – while the proportion of B- and C-roads has fallen from eight percent to six percent in the past decade.

The report also shows that the country’s motorways, which are managed on a national level by Highways England, have improved over the past ten years. While six percent of the network was in need of maintenance in 2007/08, just two percent of the network now requires attention.

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However, when the 2016/17 results are compared with 2015/16, it seems the news isn’t all good.

Although the state of the country’s motorways has improved over the past year, every other road type has maintained the same level of repair.

Local authority-managed B-roads had been steadily improving since 2011/12, but that progress has stalled over the past 12 months. Progress on locally-managed A-roads also stalled after seeing improvements almost every year since 2012/13, while unclassified roads, which last year saw their first improvement this decade, failed to emulate that performance in 2016/17.

A statement from the Department for Transport said: ‘There are many possible reasons for these changes. For example, milder winters in recent years may explain part of the improvements seen. In addition, road maintenance strategies, funding, and the levels of road traffic and congestion can all affect the condition of the network.’