15 miles of road in Leeds ‘falls into decline’ every year

Leeds pothole
Leeds pothole

By David Spereall, local democracy reporter

Around 15 miles’ (24km) worth of road a year in Leeds is deteriorating more quickly than can be repaired, it has emerged.

An average of 115 local streets are “falling into decline” each year, the city council’s highways asset manager said.

Speaking at a Civic Hall meeting on Wednesday evening, Ian Moore blamed the situation on a lack of funding.

The council categorises all of Leeds’ roads as being either red, dark amber, light amber or green, depending on their condition, with red indicating those in the worst state and green indicating the healthiest.

Mr Moore told a group of city councillors that around 24km worth of road was being reclassified downwards every 12 months.

He said: “In terms of where we want to be, despite the lack of funding we are making progress.

“We want to get to a position where we have a steady state rather than a managed decline.”

Mr Moore said smaller access roads and residential streets, which make up nearly three quarters of Leeds’ road network, were generally in worse condition than A-roads and major routes.

He added: “We need to get to a position where less than 10 per cent of those streets are in poor condition.

“We’re not quite there yet, but that’s the aspiration and it’s something we’re working towards.”

Mr Moore said that the council had to make difficult decisions to “prolong the network as best we can for as long as we can.”

In many cases, this means prioritising repairs to amber roads, which are in danger of deteriorating further without work, over roads which are already in the red zone.

He explained: “We’re carrying out more preventative works than we are refurbishment.

“That’s quite simply because we can get an awful lot more done in terms of surface dressing and those types of treatments, than we can if we do a full refurbishment.

“That does often mean that members of the public might feel we’re resurfacing a road that’s still in good condition.

“The frustration then is if there’s road in poor condition nearby, why aren’t we dealing with that one?”


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