UK roads on a ‘knife edge’

Pothole damage has increased 63% in the first quarter of 2017, according to the RAC.

Despite a mild winter, it’s reported that it attended 6,500 breakdowns in the first three months of 2017 as a result of potholes, with average repair costing £110. Damaged suspension springs, cracked shock absorbers and distorted wheels were the most common damage.

Potholes also accounted for 2.7 per cent of all RAC jobs – the largest figure for more than a decade.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said, ‘Our figures sadly show a surprising and unwelcome first quarter rise in the number of breakdowns where the poor quality of the road surface was a major factor.

‘We had expected a figure no worse than that recorded in the first quarter of 2016 (4,026) and it is very concerning that the roads, strangely, appear to have deteriorated in a mild, comparatively dry winter. As a nation we still have a long way to go to ensure the whole road network is really fit for purpose.

‘The backlog in preventative maintenance suggests we are on a knife-edge and it will only take one season of poor weather to take us back to where we were a few years ago.’