‘Staggering’ two million vehicles damaged by potholes last year


The AA attended more than 600,000 incidents involving vehicles damaged by potholes last year, new figures released on National Pothole Day today reveal.

The ‘shock’ figure represents a five-year high and a 16.4% increase compared to 2022, the motoring organisation said.

Rounded up to the national scale, it means an estimated two million vehicles were affected by tyre, wheel, steering and suspension damage caused by potholes in the UK in 2023 – costing drivers an estimated £4.74m.

A new ‘Pothole Partnership’, formed in response to ‘widespread concern’ about poor road maintenance, has launched today to press for more effective permanent repairs.

The partnership comprises the AA, the National Motorcyclists Council, British Cycling, IAM RoadSmart, the British Motorcyclists Federation and manufacturer JCB.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘Potholes are the number one concern for 96% of drivers and can be fatal for those on two wheels so hopefully pressure from the Pothole Partnership will lead to permanent repairs.’

The chair of the Asphalt Industry Alliance, Rick Green, said: ‘While an annual National Pothole Day helps to raise awareness of the below-target condition of our vital roads, the challenge of improving the local road network goes beyond simply filling in potholes.

‘We are optimistic that the Government’s recent £8.3bn commitment to local roads could improve conditions and we agree with the Pothole Partnership’s view that the funding allocation needs to be front-loaded so local highway engineers can also start addressing the backlog of necessary structural repairs now.

‘This upfront investment would then enable local authorities to implement planned preventative maintenance programmes going forward.

‘This would support a lower carbon, whole-life approach to local highway maintenance, helping to deliver sustained improvements and enhanced network resilience, saving money over the long-term, and ensuring our local roads are able to support future challenges.’

Cllr Darren Rodwell, transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA), said: 'Councils share the concerns of all road users with the state of our roads and are doing all they can to tackle the £14bn backlog of road repairs, including learning from and adopting innovative techniques.

'Greater, long-term and year-on-year consistency of funding for the maintenance of all parts of our highways will help them achieve this.

'The Government should award council highways departments five-yearly funding allocations, to bring them on a par with National Highways, to give more certainly so they can develop resurfacing programmes and other highways improvements, to help them tackle the scourge of potholes.'

This article first appeared on localgov.co.uk.

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