Increasing vehicle damage from pothole-related incidents, RAC warns

Figures released by the RAC have warned that the number of vehicles being damaged as result of potholes has more than doubled over the past decade.

The data shows the number of pothole-related call-outs has increased by 125 per cent from 2006-2016 and suggested that road surfaces had deteriorated ‘substantially’ over the period.

The RAC Pothole Index found that 0.9 per cent of call-outs were due to damage such as broken shock absorbers or faulty suspension springs in the 12 months to June, compared to 0.4 per cent over the same period to June 2006.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “Our analysis paints a very disappointing picture which unequivocally confirms what most road users already know, which is that the condition of our local roads has deteriorated drastically in the last decade.

“This analysis suggests that the quality of the UK’s roads suffered a steady decline from the start of 2007 through to the end of 2009, presumably due to lack of investment in maintenance and resurfacing during worsening economic times. Since then, injections of short-term funding have addressed the immediate aftermath of periods of extreme weather but have not been sufficient to tackle the underlying problem.”

Commenting on the findings, Councillor Peter Box, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association (LGA), said: “Councils face a £12 billion backlog of road repairs which would already take more than a decade to clear. Current funding levels mean councils are only able to keep pace with patching up our roads and filling potholes rather than carrying out more cost-effective and long-term improvements.

“Long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance is desperately needed from government to improve road conditions for motorists and cyclists.”