The UK’s motoring bodies have launched another warning to the government over the country’s pothole crisis, stating that the nation’s roads are in desperate need of a cash injection.
The calls for more investment come on the back of damning new data from the RAC, which shows that the number of pothole-related breakdowns is on the rise.
Its staff attended over 1,800 breakdowns between October and December of 2022 for faults that can be attributed to poor road surface condition, such as broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers and distorted wheels. This is the highest number during this quarter since 2019 and represents a 23% increase from the three months prior, during which there were only 1,462 breakdowns for the same issues.
The report also found that the UK’s drivers share these concerns, as over half (55%) rated pothole repairs in their local area as either poor or very poor.
A similar report by the AA reinforced these worries. More than half (53%) of drivers in the North West and South East said their local road surfaces are in a poor condition. A comparable number in Eastern England (51%), Scotland (50%) and London (42%) made the same statement.
Jack Cousens, Head of Roads Policy at the AA, blames the ongoing issues on years of underinvestment: “Most communities will say the main roads are usually in pretty good shape but the minor and residential roads are where the potholes create a menace. Many of these are used for active travel and exercise, such as cycling. Dimmed street lights add to the threat in the dark.
“Safe and maintained streets are vital for everyone, regardless of how they use the roads, and we desperately need to see a massive cash injection to upgrade local roads. Until that happens, UK roads will continue to crumble and crack into catastrophe.”