Potholes remain drivers’ deepest concern

Potholes remain the biggest safety concern for UK drivers.

New research conducted by the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, found that potholes was a greater concern for UK motorists than speeding, road rage, congestion or drink and drug driving.

IAM RoadSmart’s latest annual Safety Culture Report discovered that nearly four in five drivers (79%) perceive potholes to be a bigger issue for them than they were three years ago. Meanwhile, only five per cent of respondents saw potholes as a smaller problem compared to last year.

The report gathered responses from over 2,000 motorists, and found that 90% had been affected by potholes in the past year, with 32% stating they had even changed route to avoid them.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “The fact that motorists perceive potholes to be a bigger issue compared to drink driving and speeding, which cause more deaths, goes to show how much of a problem the pothole crisis continues to be.

“Not only is damage to vehicles caused by potholes expensive and inconvenient, but it is also a major safety concern affecting all road users. In particular, potholes pose a serious risk of injury to those on two wheels, as well as potentially causing drivers to swerve into oncoming traffic.”

It is currently estimated that there are some 42,675 miles of UK roads classed as being in poor structural condition, which would cost an estimated £11.14bn to bring them up to a level which they could be maintained cost effectively going forward, according to Asphalt Industry Alliance.

Greig said: “Drivers are suffering from pothole problems every day and it is adding to the stress and cost of running a car. No one can enjoy their motoring anymore if the roads are in such poor condition. The government must deliver on its promise to provide long term ring- fenced funding for road maintenance so that the backlog can be eliminated in the foreseeable future. It is clear that such a policy would be very popular with millions of drivers across the UK.”