Posted: Fri 28th Apr 2023

Surge in pothole-related breakdowns with RAC seeing 39% rise in callouts

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Apr 28th, 2023

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The RAC has reported a significant increase in pothole-related breakdowns during the first three months of 2023, with the number of drivers affected rising by 39% compared to the same period in 2022.

New data shows that RAC patrols rescued 10,076 drivers who had fallen foul of potholes, marking the highest number of call-outs for issues such as damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs, and distorted wheels since January to March 2021.

Furthermore, the number of pothole-related breakdowns more than doubled from the 4,915 seen in the fourth quarter of 2022.

There was also a 14% spike in wheel changes compared to the same period last year, with December’s extreme freezing conditions likely worsening the UK’s road surfaces.

The RAC’s long-term Pothole Index, which has been tracking pothole call-outs since 2006, reveals that drivers are now 1.6 times more likely to suffer breakdowns due to pothole wear than they were 17 years ago.

RAC roads spokesman Simon Williams called the high number of call-outs “nothing short of scandalous” and criticised the UK’s local roads for their poor state.

He noted the financial burden placed on drivers struggling to make ends meet, who must pay for vehicle repairs due to inadequate road maintenance.

Although councils are not obligated to compensate drivers for pothole-related vehicle damage, they may consider doing so if a pothole has been identified in routine inspections or reported by the public.

As a result, the RAC encourages people to report potholes through their website or directly to local authorities.

Addressing the £14bn required to restore the UK’s roads to a fit-for-purpose condition, Williams implored the government to consider alternative solutions, such as ringfencing a portion of fuel duty revenue for road maintenance and repairs.

He argued that the current £28bn collected from drivers serves as general taxation and is insufficient for addressing the pothole crisis.

“A change in funding strategy is massively overdue,” Williams said, stressing the need for a fairer distribution of car tax revenue between major and local roads. “Drivers contribute billions in tax every year, and it is ridiculous that the roads remain in such an awful state.”


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