Pothole 'epidemic' costing £1 million a month

The AA has revealed that UK drivers and insurers are losing £1 million each month repairing damage to vehicles caused by potholes, with the number of claims for the first four months of 2018 already equaling those for the whole of 2017.

The motorists' organisation, who call the situation a ‘national embarrassment’, has extrapolated that there have been 4,200 such claims this year across the UK, compared with just over 3,500 estimated claims last year.

An AA survey of more than 17,000 people found 88 per cent of drivers think roads are in a worse state now than a decade ago. Therefore, the AA is also calling on the government to ring-fence 2p per litre of current fuel duty to create a £1 billion pothole fund for local councils.

Janet Connor, the AA's insurance director, said: "In most cases the damage caused by a pothole - a ruined tyre or even two tyres and perhaps a wheel rim - doesn't justify making an insurance claim given that it is likely to lead to the loss of your excess and no-claim bonus. So the claims we are seeing are clearly much worse than that.

"Drivers are hitting potholes and ruining their suspension, steering, the underbody of the car, breaking axles and occasionally being knocked off course and hitting other vehicles, kerbs or a lamp-post. This year we are seeing a growing number of pothole claims described as: 'car severely damaged and un-driveable' which didn't happen at all last year. The pothole epidemic has become nothing short of a national disgrace."