SOME of Swindon’s roads are in dire need of repair and maintenance - but most are in good condition.

New figures from the Department for Transport show that around one in every 50 miles of main road around the borough need fixing.

The government surveyed council-run roads in the 12 months to March 2021 and classified them as ‘red’ if they should be considered for maintenance.

Two per cent of A roads along with four per cent of B and C roads and nine per cent of smaller unclassified roads in Swindon ended up in this category.

The amount of Swindon’s A-roads needing maintenance has fallen from the three per cent recorded in 2019/20, and it is well below the average figure across England, where one in every 25 miles is in poor condition.

The examinations are mainly done using scanner machines which identify sections of road worn down by use or affected by ruts, bumps and potholes. But the DfT said a different method was used in Swindon which means the area should not be directly compared to others.

The DfT said the proportion of roads in the red category is “stable” following a slight increase during 2019-20, but there has been no change since 2015-16.

A new AA survey indicated that nine out of 10 drivers want the government to heavily invest in fixing local roads.

Adver readers seem to agree and suggested that parts of Cranmore Avenue, Queens Drive, Dean Street, Gainsborough Way, Penhill Drive the railway village, and the routes to Lydiard Park’s car parks need a bit of work done.

Ben Blakey said: “I am not sure which road has the worst potholes as a lot are in real bad condition because road surfaces wear out, or there’s unprecedented traffic due to diversions, or badly-completed previous work, or utility companies cutting trenches in, or poor substructure and materials and workmanship.”

The AA’s head of roads policy, Jack Cousens, said: “While the government claims road conditions are ‘stable’, the harsh reality is that they are stuck in a rut.

“Road users don’t have to travel too far from home to see a plethora of potholes, fractured tarmac, worn away surfaces and faded road markings which make driving and cycling uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst.”

The DfT figures suggest the smallest roads in England are in an even worse condition than classified ones, with one in every six miles in the “red” category.

Work has just been completed on Cheney Manor Road and repairs are being carried out along Thamesdown Drive soon.

Coun Kevin Parry said: “The number of roads in the borough which are recorded as being in need of major repair compares favourably with many other areas, but the figures show there are a lot more roads which will require major maintenance in the not too distant future.

“We know the funding available to local authorities is a fraction of what is required to keep all our roads in a good condition, but this is not unique to Swindon. It means we have to prioritise what money we do have on those roads that are most in need of repair.

“We have recently been successful in bidding for additional government funding for carriageway maintenance under the Challenge Fund process and this has seen us improve roads such as Thamesdown Drive, St Mary’s roundabout and Vicarage Road, and Cheney Manor industrial estate.

"We are currently carrying out much-needed repairs along Queens Drive. In recent years, we have consistently invested over and above the money we receive from central government which means we can invest in more of our roads throughout the year.”

The RAC said it is “hugely concerning” how many smaller roads are earmarked for maintenance, as unclassified roads in more rural areas tend to have worse safety records.

Head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “We had hoped that the fact so few people were using the roads last year because of the pandemic would have given councils a golden opportunity to catch up on much-needed road repairs.

“Sadly, this data appears to show there’s still a huge amount to be done. Given the vast sums drivers pay in taxes every year, it’s only reasonable for them to expect all roads to be in a good condition.”

A DfT spokesman said: “The government is investing more than £5 billion in roads maintenance over this Parliament, which is enough to fill in millions of potholes a year, repair dozens of bridges, and help resurface roads up and down the country.”