Research into the state of Greater Manchester roads by the Federation of Small Businesses suggests that conditions have improved in most areas over the past year, however council investment continues to be a postcode lottery.
Freedom of Information requests lodged at the 10 councils in the GM region revealed all but two authorities, Trafford and Rochdale, had received fewer claims for damage to motor vehicles caused by potholes in 2014/15 compared to the previous year. Manchester was unable to provide current figures to compare with previous results.
However, in terms of complaints relating to potholes and other carriageway defects, five councils saw higher numbers, with four recording less than the previous year. Salford saw the biggest percentage drop in pothole damage claims, while Tameside complaints doubled from 752 in 2013/14, to 1,484 in 2014/15.
The research also showed marginal increases in spending on carriageway repairs in 2014/15 compared to the previous year, with just Stockport and Rochdale spending notably less. Rochdale had the fewest complaints about potholes in 2014/15, but the number of complaints had more than doubled compared to the previous year.
Simon Edmondson, FSB regional chairman for Greater Manchester, said: “Our members rely heavily on the local road networks to do business, with employees, customers and trade deliveries relying on fast and efficient networks. Poorly maintained roads impede that.
“While this research shows councils are, on the whole, making some headway in maintaining our region’s road network to an acceptable standard, there’s still room for improvement. There were somewhere in the region of 20,000 complaints from the public about damaged roads across the Greater Manchester area in 2014/15 – that figure tells its own story about our roads.”