After our recent Surrey Hills Cyclone sportive, riders have condemned the state of the county’s roads. Star guest and series sponsor, Chris Boardman was appalled by the seemingly endless succession of potholes and there has been no shortage of criticism from others new to the rough riding delights of the Surrey lanes.

Now the local press have slammed the condition of the county’s tarmac after misleading statistics have been published by the council. The Surrey Advertiser has revealed that the council is not taking into account roads that are deteriorating and close to crisis point despite claims that 80 per cent of its highways are in decent condition.

Although officially ‘only’ 17 per cent of roads are classified as red, or in critical condition, not all of the remainder are green, or good condition, leaving another 710 miles being classed as amber, or in need of maintenance. That’s a grand total of 1,210 miles that needs fixing!

Superficially Surrey’s five-year, £100 million road repair plan sounds impressive but it actually means that only just over 300 miles of highway will be refreshed in this time. And there’s more bad news in that within five years another 186 miles will have deteriorated to red condition.

In short, these roads are going to get even worse despite a seemingly generous investment. It’s time for Surrey to stop fiddling the figures and just get on with fixing the holes.

This article was first published in the May 9 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!

  • Lee Billingham

    On the news this week Elmbridge (in Surrey) was identified as an area that paid more tax than Newcastle. Where is it all going?

  • Alison Derrick

    I’m a motorist, not a cyclist and on my 3rd front tyre since August – all from hitting potholes on Surrey Roads! Swerving to avoid potholes is also an enormous safety issue. The spot repairs are not well executed and do not last. All this is unsustainable and dangerous…………where does our road tax go?

  • Mike Dawes

    I’d be interested to know how Ripley Road down to East Clandon compares to the Belgian cobbles. On a steel-framed bike it’s awful (and dangerous in parts); must be a bit grim if riding on carbon.

  • Brian Turpin

    Two successive harsh winters have created dangerous conditions for cyclists and motorists alike. Councils are already struggling financially so it’s unrealistic to expect them to be able to effect sustainable repairs without central government also doing its bit. Fixing them now is crucial as much of the foundations of roads are now exposed to further damage as potholes become ever larger and deeper. I urge the government to consider a national programme of road maintenance and repair that would improve safety, benefit the economy and provide much needed employment.