The RAC’s patrols attended over 10,000 pothole-related breakdowns last year – the equivalent of 27 every single day and the highest annual total since 2018, new figures show.
The breakdown company’s members experienced a total of 10,123 breakdowns for broken suspension springs, distorted wheels and damaged shock absorbers last year. This represents a 10% increase on 2019 (9,198) and 19% more than in 2020 (8,524).
Last year’s total represented 1.5% of all the RAC’s call-outs, which is up from 1.2% in 2020, 1.1% in 2019 and 1.4% in 2018.
‘The rot appears to have well and truly set in when it comes to the country’s roads with our patrols going out to vast numbers of drivers who, through no fault of their own, are breaking down because of the wear-and-tear caused by potholes,’ said RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes.
‘This is ridiculous because it is almost entirely avoidable if roads were maintained properly. With drivers contributing so much in terms of tax to the Government the very least they deserve are roads that are fit-for-purpose.’
He added: ‘It’s hard to see how the status quo is sustainable. Inevitably we have plenty of cold weather still to come this winter and we fear that by the spring the number of drivers running into problems will rise even further. Not getting our roads into a decent shape is simply storing up more problems – and more expense – for the future.’
In October, the Local Government Association (LGA) warned that funding for local road maintenance had been cut by £400m. It calculated that the reduction in the capital funding allocated to councils in 2021/22 is the equivalent of fixing or preventing over 9.5 million potholes.