A major survey of UK drivers has found 39% suffered pothole damage over the past two years, prompting calls for George Osborne to address roads funding in the Budget.
In Scotland the figure rises to 46% of car, van and motorcycle owners who have had their vehicles damaged by potholes since 2014.
The AA survey of some 25,000 drivers found 9,723 have had their tyres, wheels, bodywork or other parts of their vehicles damaged.
Of those suffering pothole damage:
- 39% suffered just tyre damage,
- 18% had to deal with a damaged tyre and wheel,
- 28% a damaged tyre, wheel and tracking,
- 13% other damage, such as suspension
- 4% had to make bodywork repairs, on top of other damage
Percentage of drivers having suffered pothole damage
- Scotland – 46%
- Yorkshire and Humberside – 41%
- North West, East Midlands, South East – 40%
- South West – 38%
- West Midlands – 37%
- North East – 35%
- Wales and Northern Ireland – 34%
- East Anglia – 33%
- London – 32%
Edmund King, the AA’s president highlighted that drivers were already putting in some £27bn a year to the Treasury through fuel duty, while the network suffers 'austerity-driven cuts in highway maintenance budgets' leading to 'crumbling roads, vehicle damage and then emergency maintenance'.
'Last year, the chancellor hammered drivers with a 58% increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) on motor policies. The £18 average increase was the equivalent of a 1.5p-a-litre increase on fuel duty for a typical car consuming 100 litres, or two refuels, a month,' he said.
'That compares with the 0.54p-a-litre fuel duty increase the Treasury cancelled in the Budget, which would have added 0.65p a litre at the pump once VAT was added.'
He continued: 'Having reaped a tax bonus from IPT and taken the annual tens of billions from fuel duty, car tax and VAT, the AA calls on the chancellor to set aside some ‘back to basics” extra funding to fix UK roads. This would reverse the toll on vehicles and their owners’ pockets from potholes and poor drainage.'
Transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, Cllr Peter Box, said councils fix one pothole every 15 seconds on average but with current funding levels and a £12bn maintenance backlog to tackle they ‘can only keep pace with patching up our roads and filling potholes’.
‘Long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance is desperately needed in the Budget to improve road conditions for all users.'
The 2016 Budget is on 16 March.