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ABOUT one in eight of Carmarthenshire’s minor roads is in a state of “considerable deterioration” and needs repair.

The latest Department for Transport figures for the county’s C roads puts it 17th out of Wales’ 22 local authority areas.

The county’s B-roads were 10th best in Wales, while its A-roads – one in 20 of which is in a poor condition – were 21st in the table.

About one in 14 of Swansea’s C roads were in this poor category.

The Department for Transport said weather, road maintenance strategies, funding, levels of road traffic and congestion all affected the condition of the road network.

Carmarthenshire’s road network is more than 2,100 miles – the second highest in Wales – and traffic volume in the county is the third highest.

Executive board member for environment, Councillor Hazel Evans, said: “There is a considerable programme of repairs, but there is just not enough funding to cover it.”

The current backlog of maintenance is estimated at £36m, with £6m needed each year to maintain the status quo.

The Plaid Cymru-Independent administration secured a £5.2m road refurbishment grant from the Welsh Government for 2018-21, and received a further £3.1m to cover the highway repairs following last October’s Storm Callum.

It spent a total of £4.8m repairing and maintaining roads in the county in 2018-19.

There are also 1,872 structures such as bridges and culverts to inspect and assess.

The council’s current highways asset management plan was discussed by the environmental and public protection committee on September 30.

The report before members said there had been a minor deterioration of the road network over the previous 12 years, with the largest changes experienced by C roads.

Cllr Evans said preventative work was more cost-effective in the long-term, but that current funding levels meant that less took place than the administration wanted.

She also said the council was keen to encourage car-sharing and more use of public transport, although she said this was not always easy in such a rural county.

“We need to take a look at what we can do with the roads,” she said.

“But it would take years to put it [the road network] right.”

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