Ellie Ames 27 November 2023

‘Worst October in history’ for pothole breakdowns

‘Worst October in history’ for pothole breakdowns image
Image: AlanMorris / Shutterstock.com

October this year was the worst on record for pothole-related breakdowns, according to the AA Pothole Index.

Last month, AA patrols attended 52,541 incidents involving wheel, tyre and suspension damage, thought to be caused by potholes.

The motoring organisation said rainfall caused by Storm Babet had contributed to the number of breakdowns, which was 12% higher than in October last year.

The total number of pothole-related breakdowns for 2023 now stands at more than half a million (510,932), averaging 1,591 a day.

AA public relations manager Tony Rich said: ‘What feels like relentless rainwater is covering and increasing the severity of potholes while holding back essential road repairs by rightly diverting roads maintenance crews to tackle fallen trees and flooded areas.

‘The £8.3bn road maintenance fund will offer some respite for drivers, but with the first instalment not being made until April 2024, the funding can’t come soon enough.

‘We are also pleased that councils will be encouraged to use the money to resurface streets rather than patch and run. Ensuring the structural integrity of the roads is key to road safety.’

Transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association, Darren Rodwell, said: ‘Investing in cost-effective and resilient roads resurfacing, rather than retrospectively dealing with potholes, is a priority for councils.’

Cllr Rodwell said the £8.3bn funding would help bring more local roads up to scratch, but warned that England faces an estimated £14bn repairs backlog.

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