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12May94 UK: £400M NEEDED FOR ROAD REPAIRS.

By Brian Warner.An extra £400 million a year must be spent on local authority roads to keep them in an acceptable state of repair, according to one of the UK's top surveyors.Commenting on the results of the Department of Transport's 1993 national road maintenance survey published last week, Keith Madelin, president of the County Surveyors' Society, also said that at least £200 million more a year was needed immediately just to halt the decline.The survey shows that the condition of trunk roads has improved slightly in recent years, but that overall the state of the roads network is now worse than it was 10 years ago.The past three years in particular have showed a steady general decline, with many strategic routes needing major structural repairs and both urban and rural roads showing around 14 per cent more defects.Mr Madelin, who is also Shropshire council's county surveyor, warned worse was to come.'The survey was taken last summer, but successive freezes and thaws in the winter will mean things will look even worse this time next year.'He continued: 'The Government must change the way roads maintenance is financed. Rate-capping must be scrapped so that councils are free to spend more money on their roads. Remember, trunk roads make up only 5 per cent of the network.'The survey includes for the first time details of the condition of major roads in Wales.This shows that about 34 per cent of motorways, 24 per cent of trunk roads and 26 per cent of principal routes in Wales will need major repairs within four years. CONSTRUCTION NEWS