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Government plans to place Britain at the forefront of space and modern transport are undermined by its continued lack off real investment in maintaining the road network. Commenting on the proposed Modern Transport Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech, Howard Robinson, Chief Executive of the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) said: “Before we start reaching for the stars, let’s get the fundamentals right like repairing our potholed, deteriorating road network”.

The Bill proposes legislation for the future development of Britain’s first commercial spaceport and to enable driverless cars to use roads by the end of this decade.

“It all sounds very futuristic and modern. However, there is a £12 billion black hole of essential road repair and maintenance to be carried out before we start considering commercial space flights”, said Robinson. “Failure to address decades of under-investment in road maintenance means that we would have a third world road network serving an out-of-world space port”.