Pothole damage doubles over 10 years

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Pothole-related damage to vehicles has more than doubled in the past 10 years, according to a new report by the RAC which probes its call-out statistics.

Pothole-related damage to vehicles doubles in a decade, according to RAC statistics

The research provides strong evidence that the quality of UK roads has deteriorated substantially and is in line with an increase in calls experienced by etyres for puncture repairs and tyre replacement due to pothole damage.

While etyres can repair around 60 per cent of punctures examined, it is often the case that the damage inflicted by potholes is so severe or situated in a part of the tyre which makes them impossible to repair safely and legally.

To minimise the inconvenience of this, etyres mobile tyre fitting teams always take a brand new tyre along to customers, so if the damage cannot be fixed, a replacement can be fitted there and then in order to get the vehicle back on the road as soon as possible.

The RAC has called for Government action in the wake of its report, which compared the percentage share of its pothole-related breakdowns to all other types of call-out alongside historic rainfall and frost data and revealed a 125% increase from 2006 to 2016 in the proportion of vehicle breakdowns where poor road surfaces were likely to be a contributory factor.

David Bizley, RAC chief engineer, commented: “With few exceptions, it’s the vehicle owner who picks up the bill for fixing the damage adding up to millions of pounds every year. The majority of the damage our members have suffered has been when using local roads.

“It is clear that the effects of insufficient investment over much of the last decade are going to take some considerable time to rectify. Without local roads that are fit for purpose, the benefits of the Government’s bold investment in national transport infrastructure may never be fully realised.”

He added: “Bold and imaginative action is now required to address the underlying deficiencies in local roads. Existing funding arrangements are complex with central and local government sharing the cost. Whilst £6 billion has been allocated by the Department for Transport for the period 2015-2020 for local road maintenance and development, and further funding is available through the Local Growth Fund, the RAC would like to see local roads given the same priority and treated as a strategic asset.

“With a new Prime Minister and a Secretary of State for Transport now in place it seems like the perfect time for them to demonstrate to motorists that they understand road users’ concerns and transport spending priorities.”

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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