RAC called out to 6,500 poor road surface related cases in just 3 months
The British roadside assistance company, the RAC, has warned that the condition of local roads in many areas of the UK are on a “knife edge” following an increase in breakdowns related to potholes.
According to the RAC, one wet and cold spell of wintry weather could be enough to cause many of our roads to break up, which in turn will increase the risk of motoring accidents and/or damage to cars.
The RAC claims that during the first quarter of 2017, they’ve been called out to over 6,500 breakdowns related to inadequate road surfaces – an increase of 63% over the same period only a year ago.
Damage to cars following such incidents include damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension and distorted wheels.
From January to March this year, pothole damage was responsible for around 2.7% of the total number of breakdown call-outs. The RAC introduced pothole analysis back in 2006 and this quarter has seen the largest number of pothole incidents recorded since records began.
These finding by the RAC have come as quite a shock, as they believed the numbers would have fallen following the Government’s hand out to local councils of £1.2billion in this financial year to improve our roads.
A £250million Pothole Action trust has also been set up to enable councils across the country mend the current four million potholes on UK roads. The work has to be carried out and finished by 2020/2021.
According to the RAC, funding given by the Government has already helped to improve the condition of UK roads but they are still “well short” of the state they were in 10 years ago.
The Asphalt Industry Alliance published a report recently which showed that many councils are not repairing roads to stop potholes from appearing in the first place, plus there’s a backlog of pothole repairs waiting to be fixed, estimated to cost around £12billion and take 14 years to complete.
As a result, local authorities in reality need over £12billion of funding to ensure our roads are brought up to scratch. There’s a huge gap between what the councils received in funding last year, to what they really need to ensure roads are kept in good order – almost £730million.
According to the Local Government Association, who represent over 370 councils across England and Wales, a pothole is fixed every 19 seconds by local councils, which equates to 1.75million per year.
The DfT stated that these issues were something that local councils had to deal with themselves.
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