It’s claimed that potholes on UK roads will appear at an “unprecedented rate” over the coming months
It’s been forecast that potholes on UK roads are set to appear at an “unprecedented rate” over the next few months.
New figures show that the number of breakdowns caused by potholes had risen by almost a quarter (24%) during the last three months of 2016, compared to the same period only one year ago, even though we’ve seen very little rainfall.
However, according to the RAC, road surfaces could face a hammering now the cold, wet weather finally seems to be making an appearance.
The RAC says pothole disasters have left motorists with vehicles suffering from distorted wheels, damaged shock absorbers and broken suspension rings.
RAC Chief Engineer, David Bizley, said that an increase in potholes on UK roads was “particularly worrying” because of the lower than average rainfall for a decade we’ve experienced over the three-month period.
Mr Bizley also explained how rainfall can play a huge role in the break-up of road surfaces. If the first three months of the New Year turn out to be cold and wet, new potholes could start to appear at an “unprecedented rate,” meaning local authorities would be stretched to their limits when it comes to dealing with repairs.
The chief engineer says that “urgent remedial repairs” are required in order to help lower the risk of vehicle damage, or injuries to cyclists and motorcyclists.
The Automobile Association (AA) was commissioned to carry out a survey, which involved questioning 18,000 UK motorists as part of ‘National Pothole Day,’ which was on Monday, January 16.
According to the survey, one fifth of those polled would be prepared to fill in the potholes themselves, as opposed to waiting for their local authority to come out and fix them.
AA President, Edmund King, said: “The state of local roads has got so bad that we now have a sea of volunteers to tackle an ocean of potholes.”
Motorists are being warned that 2017 could see a “tipping point” concerning the issue of potholes, according to the Local Government Association, who also claim that the road repair bill for England and Wales could rise to £14 billion within the next two years.
Chairman of the Asphalt Industry Alliance, Alan MacKenzie, said: “Long-term underfunding means that the local road network is deteriorating at a faster rate than it can be repaired.”
English councils have been allocated £6 billion by the Department for Transport (DfT) to carry out improvements on local roads, plus a £50 million-a-year fund has been pledged for tackling the issue of potholes.
The DfT also unveiled new plans last week, which could see bin lorries fitted with high-definition cameras. The cameras will be able to identify any imperfections on UK roads, which could potentially, if left, turn into a pothole. Images will be taken roughly every second whilst the bin lorry travels along its regular route.
The new system is currently being tested by councils in Essex, Thurrock and York.
According to the DfT, it could “revolutionise the way potholes are identified and managed.”
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