Surge in pothole-related breakdowns due to ‘scandalous’ state of roads – RAC
Drivers are suffering from a surge in pothole-related breakdowns, new figures suggest.
The RAC said it responded to 10,076 call-outs for faults most likely caused by poor road surfaces during the first three months of the year.
That is a 39% increase on the same period in 2022.
Common problems caused by potholes include damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels.
RAC roads spokesman Simon Williams described the state of roads as “nothing short of scandalous”.
He said: “Drivers are telling us that the UK’s local roads are in a worse state than ever and it’s hard to disagree looking at some of the craters that litter so many of our carriageways.
“It’s not right that drivers who are struggling to make ends meet are having to fork out for new tyres, wheels, suspension springs and shock absorbers simply because our roads have been allowed to fall into such a dire state of repair.
“We implore the Government to think differently to end the pothole plague once and for all.
“One way could be to ringfence a proportion of fuel duty revenue for the maintenance, repair and improvement of our local roads, because as it stands the £28 billion collected from drivers is currently just another form of general taxation.”
The cost of bringing pothole-plagued local roads in England and Wales up to scratch has been estimated at £12.6 billion.
Recent analysis by the Local Government Association showed Government funding for maintaining England’s motorways and major A roads was 31 times higher per mile than for repairing local roads last year.
Meanwhile, the Government increased its Potholes Fund – which provides money to councils in England to tackle the issue – by £200 million to £700 million for the current financial year.
A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We’re investing more than £5 billion from 2020 to 2025 to maintain local roads, with an extra £200 million announced at the Budget, which will help fix millions of potholes a year, making journeys smoother and safer for everyone.”