RAC reports double the number of pothole related breakdowns after last week’s bad weather
Motoring experts are warning drivers to expect more potholes to appear in the roads following the freezing weather conditions suffered in many parts of the country last week when the ‘Beast from the East’ struck the UK.
According to initial figures, the RAC has seen the number of pothole related breakdowns double after last week’s bad weather which brought snow and ice to most areas across Britain.
It’s National Pothole Day today here in the UK – the day when the people can have their say about the poor state of our roads and the lack of funding needed to repair them.
The ‘Beast from the East’ might have departed but has left its mark on our roads as the freezing water left sat in road cracks breaks up the surfaces even more, making the issue of potholes even greater.
According to RACs spokesman Simon Williams, the roads here in the UK were already in a poor state of repair before the extreme weather arrived on our shores and the last thing we needed was freezing conditions which can wreak havoc on road surfaces and make them worse.
“We fear this spring may see the emergence of almost as many potholes as daffodils,” said Mr Williams.
Between Sunday and Tuesday, the RAC received on average 218 call outs related to potholes, with damage to vehicle’s including distorted wheels, damaged shock absorbers and broken suspension springs. The figure from 1 February to 3 March in comparison was just 104 reported call outs.
The Department for Transport (DfT) published separate figures which showed that 22 cyclists have been killed and 368 seriously injured because of a poor or defective road surface which was a contributor since 2007.
The president of the AA, Edmund King, commented on the figures and described them as a “tragic toll”. Mr King has suggested that three months of income that local authorities collect from fines related to parking, bus lanes and yellow box offences should go towards funding our roads as an “emergency measure”.
According to Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s transport spokesman, local councils are fixing a pothole every 19 seconds despite funding issues.
“It would already take £12 billion and more than a decade for councils to clear the current local roads repair backlog,” said Mr Tett.
The DfT have pledged £23 billion on improving roads up and down the country, with £6 billion said to be given to local highway authorities to help improve the condition of their networks.
Local authorities have also been given a record £296 million through the pothole action fund which should be enough money to fix just shy of 6 million potholes. A further £46 million has been promised to help councils repair potholes that may have developed during the last winter months of 2017/18.
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