Potholes blamed for breakdown spike

Potholes have been blamed for a 23% rise in breakdowns attended by RAC patrols in the last three months of 2022.

It went to an average of 20 breakdowns a day in the final quarter, for faults such as damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels, which was up from 16 a day over the previous three months and the highest number of pothole-related breakdowns seen in the fourth quarter of the year since 2019.

Meanwhile, research for the RAC found that an enormous 86% of drivers have had to deliberately steer to avoid potholes over the past year, with 55% also rating pothole repairs in their local areas as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The wet weather we’ve had both before and after the coldest start to winter in 12 years in December is the perfect recipe for potholes to start peppering the roads.

“We fear that by the spring, drivers will be plagued by a plethora of potholes across the country’s roads which makes journeys uncomfortable and frustrating or, worse still, could lead to very expensive garage repair bills – the last thing anyone wants in a cost-of-living crisis. It’s also important to remember that potholes are so much more than just an annoyance, they are a true road safety danger, especially for those on two wheels as they represent a huge risk to their personal safety.

“As many drivers will no doubt testify, there are too many occasions where potholes have been poorly patched up by cash-strapped councils which then return all too quickly.

“It’s frankly absurd that, as a country, we seem unable to get on top of such an age-old problem when roads play such an important role in people’s everyday lives – and are vital to moving goods and businesses delivering services.”