Breakdowns caused by potholes hit a three-year high

Pothole-related mishaps have hit a three-year high, new figures show.

The RAC said it received a “ridiculous” 10,123 calls last year about problems caused by damaged road surfaces.

This is 19% more than in 2020 (8,524 breakdowns) and 10% more than in 2019 (9,198 breakdowns).

About 1.5% of all missions attended by RAC patrols in 2021 involved pothole-related issues such as deformed wheels, broken suspension springs or damaged shock absorbers.

According to the company, drivers are now more than one and a half times more likely to lie down after a pothole collapse than they were in 2006.

It released the numbers to mark National Pothole Day, which aims to highlight the problems caused by crumbling road surfaces.

Nicholas Lyes, head of road policy for the RAC, said: “The rot seems to have well and truly taken hold on the country’s roads as our patrols go to a large number of drivers who, through no fault of their own, break down due to wear and tear from potholes . This is ridiculous because it’s almost entirely avoidable if roads are properly maintained.

“Because drivers pay so much tax to the government, they deserve the least useful roads.

“Potholes on the road are a threat, not just a nuisance. They can cause thousands of pounds of unnecessary damage to drivers’ vehicles, make our roads inconvenient to use and pose a serious safety hazard to anyone on two wheels.”

Mr Lyes warned that the number of drivers hitting potholes will only rise further this spring as “we are bound to have a lot of cold weather this winter”.

Potholes are often caused by rainwater seeping into road imperfections.

When the water freezes, it expands and further degrades the surfaces.

He called for “new thinking” in solving the problem, such as B. earmarking part of the existing taxation to provide municipalities with long-term funds for the maintenance of local roads.

Recent analysis by the Local Government Association found that annual funding for more than 9.5 million pothole repairs has been removed from local government budgets in England.

LGA Traffic Spokesman David Renard said: “Major and consistent long-term investment in local road maintenance is needed to enable communities to begin the much-needed wholesale improvement of our roads.”

The latest report from the Asphalt Industry Alliance claims that local authorities in England and Wales would need to spend a combined £10 billion over a decade to repair all their potholed roads.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said: “The Government is making over £5 billion available through this Parliament for motorway maintenance investments for local motorway authorities across England. That’s enough to fill millions of potholes a year, repair dozens of bridges and resurface roads across the country.”

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