William Eichler 29 January 2019

RAC reports drop in pothole-related breakdowns

The last quarter of last year saw one of the lowest percentage shares of Winter pothole-related faults on record, according to the RAC.

The roadside rescue organisation dealt with 1,714 pothole-related breakdowns in the last three months of 2018.

These represented 0.8% of the 217,966 breakdowns the RAC attended on behalf of its 2.1 million members in the final three months of the year.

RAC patrols attended 13,093 breakdowns related to poor road surface conditions during 2018 as a whole, which equated to 1.4% of all RAC call-outs.

This represented the lowest percentage recorded for any 12-month period since October 2017, but is still very close to the all-time high of 1.6% seen in Q3 and Q4 2017 and Q3 and Q4 2015.

Overall, the RAC Pothole Index shows that drivers are still two and a half times more likely to suffer a pothole-related breakdown than in 2006.

‘Those responsible for our roads have much to do to restore drivers’ faith as too many suffer the consequences of potholes on a daily basis,’ said RAC breakdown spokesperson Simon Williams.

‘The next two quarters will be particularly telling if temperatures plummet and water gets into road defects and freezes and expands causing further deterioration in surfaces.

‘We know local authorities are fighting an uphill road maintenance battle due to the difficult choices they have had to make in terms of where they spend their money.

‘This is why we believe central government needs to give councils increased money for roads by ring-fencing a proportion of the existing £28bn they receive in fuel duty every year.

‘This would help councils plan ahead more effectively, shifting focus away from just reactive maintenance to preventative action which would help stop potholes occurring in the first place.’

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