Pothole damage costs soar

Road safety and breakdown recovery specialist GEM Motoring Assist has warned drivers to be even more careful of potholes after council budgets for compensation has fallen by more than half.

According to the latest Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance report, 18% of local roads, or 37,000 miles, are judged to be in poor condition and risk becoming undriveable within the next five years.

A further 100,000 miles of local road would need to be rebuilt in the next 15 years.

GEM road safety adviser James Luckhurst said: “We want to help drivers stay safe on their road journeys, as well as reducing the risk of causing expensive damage to their cars. Potholes have a significant financial impact on motorists, who most of the time must bear the cost of repairs to paintwork, suspension and tyres – even though they have already paid for local road maintenance through their council tax.

“There is no consistent national policy among councils as to where or not they will compensate drivers for damage caused by potholes. Those drivers who can’t afford to pay for their repairs risk making journeys in vehicles that are potentially unsafe.”