Pothole peril causing more breakdown calls
15:46 21 January 2016
Breakdown callouts to vehicles damaged by potholes rose by almost a quarter in a year.
There were more than 25,000 incidents last year involving damaged suspension, wheels and shock absorbers, according to figures released by the RAC to coincide with the second National Pothole Day.
Drivers in East Anglia made the most calls for help (4,547), but the largest rise in callouts over the past year was in the south east of England with a 62% rise to 2,686.
The north east of England saw callouts rise almost a third to 3,783, while incidents in Scotland increased by more than a quarter to 2,537.
The biggest headache for drivers was damaged suspension springs, with 42% more incidents reported last year compared with 2014.
RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “Potholes can wreak havoc with vehicles and are therefore understandably hated by motorists.
“It is very worrying that our patrols have dealt with more pothole-related breakdowns in 2015 than they did the year before because we did not experience a particularly cold winter in either year.”
Recently-announced investment should help improve the condition of Britain’s roads but there was still a way to go, he said.
Some local authorities had invested more in road maintenance to address the backlog but problems experienced, even in mild weather, suggested the fight against potholes was being lost.
“We shall only win the battle once sufficient preventative road surface maintenance is undertaken to prevent potholes appearing when the first bad weather arrives.
“On top of the £6bn already promised, the chancellor made available further funds in the Autumn Statement and, while this is still not enough to meet the shortfall, it may hopefully mean we will see a decline in ‘pothole-generated breakdowns’ this time next year.”
Drivers are being encouraged to report potholes using the RAC Report Pothole app.
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