UK going potty over potholes, according to Conti tyres survey

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By Denna Bowman

Motorists are being driven potty by the state of Britain’s roads, according to a survey carried out for Continental tyres.

The study, which was commissioned by the German tyres manufacturer, claims that over 10 million motorists have suffered car damage because of potholes, with an average cost of £121 per driver – this adds up to a staggering cost to the nation of over £1.2 BILLION to fix the damage to their vehicles.

And the report highlights that one in five drivers have reported a pothole to their local authority, but over half of these said their council had not done anything to fix them.

The research also revealed not only the cost to motorists because of potholes, but also the danger – with over 2 million drivers reporting a near miss with another vehicle or pedestrian due to either hitting a pothole or swerving to avoid one.

One in six report tyre damage caused by potholes – itself a greater risk to road safety.

Roger Sanders, safety expert at Continental Tyres, which questioned 1,500 drivers, said: “Potholes are an increasing danger on our roads, which has escalated even further following this year’s severe winter. The amount of damage caused is a big worry for motorists, especially when it’s something that could be avoided.

“Another cause for concern is the fact that over half the respondents neglected to check their tyres after an encounter with a pothole. This is essential as there can be hidden problems such as bulges caused by hitting a pothole, which can later cause the tyre to suffer a catastrophic failure.”

On average, motorists reported an astounding four potholes within 100 metres of their house with more than one in five stating there is a pothole close to their home that is dangerous.

More than 80 per cent think the roads have got worse since the beginning of 2009 due to the bad weather.

And the local authorities are doing little to help, with three quarters of motorists unhappy with how the council maintain the roads and 80 per cent feeling they receive poor value for money considering the taxes they pay for road maintenance.

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