Fixing roads in Wales should be treated as a priority over building new ones, an assembly report has said.

It comes after the Welsh Assembly’s economy, infrastructure and skills committee launched a photo competition to highlight the state of the roads.

The Welsh Government will now consider the committee’s report, which called for a “long-term approach”.

Wales’ road network covers about 21,000 miles and severe weather over the winter of 2017-18 has left local authorities with a backlog of repairs and potholes that need filling.

Swansea council says its bill for repairs has reached about £54m.

The report suggested a “long-term approach” to road maintenance and cited a study by Leeds University which claims it costs “between 17 and 19 times more to do odd fixes rather than doing planned asset management upgrading”.

It also cited claims by the AA which said as many claims had been made for damage caused by poor road surfaces in the first four months of 2018 as the whole of 2017.

Other recommendations in the report include using apps to improve real time data and the Welsh Government topping up additional spending on roads by local authorities.

Chairman of the committee, Russell George AM, said: “The everyday things that sustain us, including much of our food, is transported on the roads and keep the economy moving.

“There is an overwhelming consensus that long term funding for local government and trunk road agencies would lead to improvements – but we remain stuck in an annual cycle.

“We need to act now, and this Committee believes that repairing and improving the network we have right now should be a clear priority over building new roads.”


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