An estimated 40% increase in road damage from the last fortnight’s severe weather has pushed the number of potholes in the UK up to a staggering 1.5 million, the AA fears.
Tyres are usually one of the major casualties as unsuspecting motorists often clatter over the crates which appeared after the recent bout of snow and ice carpeted the UK.
Now the AA breakdown patrols are beginning to map the newer hazards – and the old ones that have re-emerged – and are also reporting pothole related damage to vehicles they are called to rescue.
The AA is also asking drivers and riders to help identify Britain’s worst potholes by taking part in the online discussion at www.theaa.com/zone.
Claims against local highway authorities and insurance companies are expected to soar way above normal – last year councils paid out £65 million in compensation. Even so, many drivers and riders will be left out in the cold by claims being rejected by highway authorities or below insurance excess levels.
Although potholes are inevitable after severe weather, the UK teeters on local road collapse from a maintenance backlog that was already going to cost £1 billion and take 11 years to put straight – before this winter.
It is estimated that 853,614 potholes were filled-in last year at an average cost of £69 each. However, restoring the road surface and stopping the re-emergence of potholes through proper maintenance has lagged by an ever-increasing amount.
Notorious pothole hotspots identified by AA patrols include: Ashford in Middlesex, Acton in London, Ipswich, Felixstowe, Stowmarket, Botley and Hedge End in Southampton, Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Ringwood, the New Forest, and Salisbury.
Denna Bowman, etyres Head Office