Breakdowns caused by potholes on the rise, warns RAC

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Pothole UK drivers are present 1.5 times much apt to acquisition pothole harm than they were 15 years ago Company’s roadside betterment patrols attended astir 30,000 pothole-related incidents past year

The RAC’s roadside betterment patrols attended a 3rd much pothole-related breakdowns successful 2023 than the twelvemonth prior, the institution has said.

Its patrols attended a full of 29,377 breakdowns past twelvemonth for faults caused by potholes, specified arsenic damaged springs and dampers and bent wheels. This is astir equivalent to 80 incidents per day.

According to the RAC, UK drivers are present 1.5 times much apt to acquisition pothole harm than they were 15 years ago.

The RAC’s caput of policy, Simon Williams, blamed the emergence connected the underfunding of section authorities.

He said: “Local councils person been cash-strapped for years, owed to little roadworthy attraction budgets, causing roads crossed the state to autumn into disrepair and leaving drivers warring for compensation erstwhile their vehicles are inevitably damaged.”

The RAC’s findings travel months aft it warned that the complaint of roadworthy resurfacing crossed the UK had fallen to its lowest level successful 5 years.

It said successful September that determination was a 29% simplification successful the fig of miles of roadworthy wholly resurfaced from 2017/2018 to 2021/2022. In total, 1588 miles were resurfaced successful 2017/2018, compared with 1123 miles successful 2021/2022.

Pothole connected  kerbside

It besides recovered that, of the 153 roadworthy authorities sampled by the Department for Transport (DfT), 31% didn't transportation retired resurfacing works, portion 51% didn't transportation retired surface-dressing work, wherein the lifespan of a roadworthy is extended without the request for afloat resurfacing.

Surface dressing itself was besides recovered to beryllium down connected 2017/2018 levels by 34%.

Council areas recovered to resurface the highest proportionality of their roads were Kent, freshening up 29 miles of its 502-mile A-road network, and Southend-on-Sea (in Essex), astatine 21 miles. Lincolnshire aboveground dressed astir of its A-roads, astatine 50 miles retired of 661.

Prime curate Rishi Sunak pledged successful November to resoluteness the contented of potholes, assigning £8.3 cardinal successful backing for section roads maintenance.

The money, diverted from the arguable HS2 obstruction project, is claimed by Westminster to beryllium capable for resurfacing immoderate 5000 miles of roadworthy implicit the adjacent 11 years.

It's the biggest road-specific money ever announced successful the UK.


Williams said successful November that the backing should “go a sizeable mode to bringing our roads backmost to a fit-for-purpose state”.

Edmund King, president of the AA, echoed this sentiment: “Perilous roads blighted by potholes are the number-one interest for drivers and a large contented for bikers, cyclists and pedestrians. 

"So acold this year, the AA has attended much than 450,000 pothole-related breakdowns. The harm caused tin beryllium a immense fiscal load for drivers but is besides a large information hazard for those connected 2 wheels.

“The £8.3bn program tin marque a sizeable quality successful bringing our roads backmost to the standards which roadworthy users expect, particularly if councils usage the currency efficiently to resurface our streets.

"As good arsenic safer roads, eliminating potholes gives assurance to radical wanting to rhythm and instils pridefulness of spot wrong section communities.”

Additional reporting by Jonathan Bryce

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