Potholes: Putting a Hole in Your Pocket?
In recent surveys, 16% of all road users have been involved in, and or have seen an accident caused by a road user hitting a pothole. Pothole repair is the top priority for local council maintenance but the current road maintenance in England and Wales is underfunded by around 50% which equates to £1 billion every year.
Only 14% of road users think that their council’s performance in maintaining their local roads is either good or very good, with more than half rating it as bad or very bad.When asked, half of the respondents thought that their roads in their area are getting worse but if all authorities were given the budgets that they truly needed in order to fix their roads, it would take the English Authorities 11 year to catch up with the current backlog. Not to mention that the average frequency for a road to resurfaced in England is once every 65 years.
Overall in the UK, Welsh respondents are the happiest with their council road maintenance with 27% rating their performance as ‘good’. Respondents from the South east are the least happy with their local road maintenance with a staggering 10% rating it as good. London was an exception to this with 18% rating their council as ‘good’.Many of the comments received suggested that the local government spending cuts are the cause of these problem – respondents weren’t just negative about the authorities themselves.
“Potholes are a major factor in causing axle & suspension failure, which counts for a third of mechanical issues on UK roads and costs British motorists an estimated £2.8 billion every year”. Pothole compensation claims have increase in the recent years due to a combination of both bad weather and council negligence. The price of driving over a pothole can be financially serious with the total cost to UK motorists amounting to roughly £320 million year. It is estimated that 1 in every five vehicle failures are because of potholes.
IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “The public is unhappy with the state of their roads, although many realise that spending cuts are the real problem. Overall, 80% of those polled thought that local councils should work more closely together to increase efficiency and with no loosening of the public purse strings in sight it will take partnerships to ensure the backlog in road maintenance does not continue to stack up.”
· Taking pictures to establish the width and depth of the pothole
· Reporting the pothole by contacting the local council or highways agency
· Taking a look at the National Code for good maintenance of roads
· Contacting a claims specialist for more information on how to claim