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Pothole pandemic as breakdowns hits three-year high

By Tom Gibson | January 17, 2023


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Neglected roads are ‘ridiculous’ as numbers of stranded motorists soar

Pothole pandemic as breakdowns hits three-year high

The RAC has released breakdown data to detail how pothole-related breakdowns have reached a 'ridiculous' three-year high.

The breakdown provider revealed it had received a whopping 10,123 call outs for issues caused by damaged road surfaces last year.

Pothole-related breakdowns in 2021 were 10% higher than in 2019, despite reduced traffic levels due to the pandemic.

This comes as the government has made cuts to council funding for road repairs and the issue is causing additional financial burden for drivers who already face high fuel costs, emission-related taxes in cities, and record used car prices.

The RAC reports that 1.5% of all callouts by their patrols were for pothole-related issues and that drivers are now 1.5 times more likely to breakdown from hitting a pothole than in 2006.

Insurer, Admiral, also reported a 39% increase in claims for pothole damage repair costs compared to 2016 and the RAC has urged for "fresh thinking" on tackling the problem, such as using a portion of existing taxes for long-term funding for road maintenance.

RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: 'The rot appears to have well and truly set in when it comes to the country's roads, with our patrols going out to vast numbers of drivers who, through no fault of their own, are breaking down because of the wear and tear caused by potholes.

'This is ridiculous because it is almost entirely avoidable if roads were maintained properly.

'With drivers contributing so much in terms of tax to the Government, the very least they deserve are roads that are fit for purpose.

'Potholed roads are a menace, not a mere annoyance. They can cause thousands of pounds of unnecessary damage to drivers' vehicles, make using our roads uncomfortable, and can be a serious road safety hazard for anyone on two wheels.'

While potholes can be a problem for car and van drivers, they are a potentially fatal hazard for motorbike riders with deep craters enough to throw one from their bike.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: 'The Government is providing over £5 billion of investment over this Parliament for highways maintenance to local highways authorities across England.

'This is enough to fill millions of potholes a year, repair dozens of bridges, and resurface roads up and down the country.'

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