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UK motorways 'poorest in Europe'

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Drivers who have had to claim on their van insurance policies for damage caused by potholes will be unsurprised to hear that a new study has named and shamed Britain's motorway network as one of the worst in Europe.

The 2011 road file booklet, published by the Road Users' Alliance (RUA), claims that other trunk roads in the country are also inadequate.

Tim Green, director of the RUA, said: "Our file makes grim reading with its catalogue of evidence of a failing road transport system."

Based on figures available in April 2010, the RUA said that the UK saw a 21% rise in licensed vehicles between 1999 and 2009, but there was a mere 1% expansion in road network during the period.

Motorways in the country total just 3,670 kilometres compared with 13,014km in Italy, 12,594km in Germany and 10,958km in France.

On a mile-for-mile basis, investment in roads is 15 times lower than that for rail, according to the RUA.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "I do not accept for one second the criticisms levelled by the RUA. We are investing £4 billion on Highways Agency major projects, capital maintenance and enhancements in the next spending review period."

© Press Association 2011