asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied that cuts in road maintenance have had no detrimental effects on road safety either in relation to vehicle accidents or to pedestrians; and if he will make a statement.
Maintenance expenditure has not been cut. Expenditure on motorways and trunk roads has increased progressively from £49 million in 1975–76 to £115 million in 1980–81, the last year for which outturn figures are available. But the figure for 1981–82 will be well over £150 million. On local roads, the local authority maintenance-related bids for transport supplementary grant that we have accepted represent a cash increase of 16 per cent. on the 1981–82 total accepted.The recording of road surface defects, if observed at injury accidents, began only in 1979. We propose to undertake a study of the frequency of accidents in which they are recorded when the accident records for the first six months of this year are available for analysis. This will permit the taking into account of the effects of last winter's weather.