Over £156m of British taxpayer money wasted on abandoned roads

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
·2-min read
As new highways are built to improve Brits' journeys, old ones become abandoned, wasting millions of pounds of taxpaper money. ( Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images)
As new highways are built to improve Brits' commutes, old ones become abandoned, wasting millions of pounds of taxpaper money. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images

Over £156m ($200.8m) of British taxpayer money has been “wasted” on roads that have been abandoned.

As the UK’s roads are constantly evolving in order to improve Brits’ commutes, many have become abandoned as a result of newly built highways.

These roads cost taxpayers £156.12m to lie unused, slowly being reclaimed by nature, data from Bristol Street Motors shows.

The longest and most expensive road no longer used is the A83, located in Argyll in Scotland, which cost £30.22m and has been abandoned since the 1970s.

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Collectively, Scotland is home to 7.02 miles of abandoned track. This includes the A830 — a road notorious for being too narrow for cars to pass each other safely — which cost £23.61m, and has been abandoned since 2009.

Other abandoned roads in Scotland include the A82 in Glen Coe, which at 1.29 miles long cost taxpayers £15.64m, only to be abandoned in 1932; and the A894 in Duartmore Bridge, which at 1.18 miles long cost £14.29m and has been abandoned since 1979.

Meanwhile, the longest and most expensive road no longer used in England is the A3 in Hindhead. At 1.19 miles, it cost £14.36m, and has been abandoned since 2011.

It is followed by the A33 in Winchester, which at 0.87 miles cost taxpayers £10.53m, only to be abandoned in 1994.

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The A2 in Gravesend follows closely behind, at 0.73 miles and a cost of £8.8m, despite not being used since 2009.

The A23 in Muddleswood is 0.34 miles long, cost £4.17m and has been unused since the 1980s. The A10 in Puckeridge, at 0.33 miles long and a cost of £3.95m, was abandoned in the 1970s.

The A26 in Belfast, Northern Ireland also makes the list, at 0.5 miles long and a cost of £6.09m, only to be abandoned in the 1990s.