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Road maintenance costs on the rise

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A new report has revealed that the cost of maintaining motorways and major trunk roads in England has increased well above inflation.

According to the the National Audit Office (NAO), lack of information from the Highways Agency meant it was not possible to determine some costs, including that of road resurfacing.

Despite the fact that poor road surfaces may result in damage to cars, the agency is still running on a diminishing number of staff with the necessary skills to manage some contracts.

At the time of the NAO review, the highways Agency had only four quantity surveyors on its books as well as losing more than 50 engineers over five years.

The NAO also found that the costs for routine maintenance had risen by 11% above inflation since 2002-03, while expenditure on planned maintenance has risen overall by 5.5% above inflation.

Millions of pounds are being wasted, according to Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Norman Baker. She said: "With costs rocketing, less maintenance work is getting done and roads full of potholes are being left to deteriorate. With all parts of Government facing tough spending choices, this kind of waste is inexcusable."

© Press Association 2009