Potholes back on the rise, new report suggests

4th August 2017

The state of Britain’s roads could be worsening, a new report from the RAC suggests.

Between April and June, RAC patrols attended almost a third more pothole-related faults, compared to the second quarter of 2016.

According to the group’s Pothole Index, the roadside assistance group rescued 3,565 motorists whose vehicles had suffered broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers or distorted wheels – issues that are often attributed to poor road surfaces.

This was 840 more than the 2,725 similar breakdowns seen in the same three months of 2016, and marks the first signs of deterioration after five successive quarters of improvement.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said the rise in pothole-related breakdown was “disappointing” and “unwelcome”, especially given how British weather had been considerably milder and drier than in the first half of 2016.

“We fear it would only take a spell of very cold or wet weather for the improvements of the last year or two to evaporate and for the nation to find itself in a situation when we would once again be seeking emergency funding from government to address the worst-affected roads,” he commented.

Although long-term investment is in place to maintain and improve the UK’s major roads, Mr Bizley warned that local roads should not be neglected and called on the government to recognise their importance by ringfencing funding for their maintenance.

A separate survey by the RAC found that almost seven in ten British motorists prefer to drive in mainland Europe due to its smooth, open roads.

Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, added: “A succession of harsh winters battered Britain’s roads and there have clearly been improvements in recent years. We hope this isn’t the sign of things to come.”