Potholes are becoming an ever increasing problem to all drivers there popping up faster than daffodils and recent reports seem to confirm this with one in five roads affected by pot holes due to the bad weather. But I don’t think we really need a survey to tell us this as I’m sure everyone who drives has noticed this for themselves.
A survey carried out by the AA of more than 22,000 people has revealed that in the last two years a third of AA members have suffered pothole damage to their cars – and the situation looks set to worsen thanks to 30 per cent more potholes being reported on our road network than at the start of 2012.
This has a massive effect on all drivers and as potholes are a major factor in causing axle and suspension failure, which counts for a third of mechanical problems on the UK roads and costs British motorists an estimated £2.8 billion every year. This can make a massive difference on peoples motoring budgets whether it’s a private vehicle or on a Contract hire vehicle.
Roads in Scotlandand Yorkshire and Humberside were rated as the worst in Britain by those taking part in the AA poll, with 40 per cent rated as being in poor, very poor or terrible condition.
Northern Ireland,Wales and London have the best roads. However, 50 per said that the pothole problem had grown in the last 12 months
This reflects the effects of very wet and frosty weather on poor road surfaces. Potholes form as water freezes and expands in cracks in the road surface. Passing traffic opens up the damaged road surface and rain washes out loose material
The AA also reports that a recent study by the Asphalt Industry Alliance revealed a £2.5 billion maintenance backlog in England and Wales. This makes things look particularly bleak as there are more potholes, a bigger maintenance backlog and less cash.
A recent report by potholes.co.uk also revealed that potholes are increasing not just in quantity but size too. Its study used data from more than 10,000 pothole reports, and found that the average depth of a pothole had increased from 3in to 4in in the last two years.
It says that with 2012 being the second-wettest since records began, plus the freezing winter conditions, it's no surprise that potholes, which are caused when moisture seeps into cracks in the road surface and then freezes, thus expanding and cracking the road, are worse than ever. But they believe it is not just the weather at fault the under-investment by the Government by using temporary fixes has just escalated the problem over the years.
The advice from the experts is to report potholes to potholes.co.uk or fixmystreet.co.uk. These websites will report the potholes to the relevant local authorities, and monitor the report until the pothole has been repaired. Further more, by reporting a pothole to either of these sites, it becomes a matter of record, which is actionable. They urge drivers to report potholes to highways authorities to allow them to take action and prevent road users from being endangered and their vehicles suffering damage.