Laura Sharman 16 January 2017

Potholes to increase at 'unprecedented rate’

Potholes to increase at unprecedented rate’ image

Potholes are likely to appear at an ‘unprecedented rate’ over the next few months, a motoring group has warned.

The RAC Pothole Index showed that breakdowns caused by poor road surfaces increased by 24% in the last three months of 2016. Damage caused included broken suspension springs, distorted wheels and damaged shock absorbers.

However, the RAC warned this was a ‘worrying finding’ because rainfall - which can be a catalyst for the formation of potholes - was the lowest for more than a decade in the fourth quarter of 2016.

RAC chief engineer, David Bizley, said: ‘If the first three months of 2017 prove to be both wet and cold, potholes are likely to appear at an unprecedented rate which would inevitably stretch local authority repair resources to their limit.

‘While urgent remedial repairs will be needed to reduce the risk of further vehicle damage or injury to road users, including vulnerable motorcyclists and cyclists, it is insufficient investment in preventative maintenance, such as resurfacing, which is ultimately to blame.’

Analysis published last week warned this year could be a ‘tipping point’ for potholes, with road repair bills projected to reach £14bn within two years.

The RAC, in partnership with Street Repairs, has created a new app for people to report potholes to the local authority or strategic highway authority.

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