The number of pothole-related faults attended by RAC patrols in the second quarter of this year increased by almost a third (31%) compared to the same period in 2016.
The figures reveal that between April and June RAC patrols helped 3,565 motorists whose vehicles had suffered issues that could be largely attributable to poor road surfaces, including broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers or distorted wheels.
This is in contrast to the 2,725 similar breakdowns in the same three months of 2016.
The RAC responded to the figures by reiterating calls for a ring-fenced funding block for local roads.
RAC chief engineer, David Bizley, said: ‘After a period of steady improvement, it is disappointing to see an unwelcome rise in the number of pothole-related breakdowns RAC patrols dealt with in the second three months of the year when compared to the same period in 2016.
‘The most worrying aspect, however, is the fact that this year’s weather has been so much milder and drier than in the equivalent six months last year and, for this reason, we should have expected the numbers for the second quarter to be lower.
He added that local roads have been ‘neglected’ compared with the funding for the strategic road network, ‘and this is why we are still calling on the Government to recognise their national significance and to mirror their approach to major roads and ring-fence a dedicated fund for this purpose’.
In response, Cllr Martin Tett the Local Government Association’s Transport Spokesman, said: 'Councils are repairing a pothole at a rate of one every 19 seconds but funding pressures mean the resources they have to carry out these essential road repairs are coming from an ever-dwindling pot.'
He added: 'Handing councils just 2 pence per litre from existing fuel duty to spend fixing our local roads would lead to an investment of £1 billion a year into vital repairs and maintenance.'