Drivers are being warned about the worsening condition of roads across the UK, following news pothole-related breakdowns are at a five-year high. Experts from price comparison website Quotezone.co.uk are calling on the government and local councils not to let the pothole problem get any worse. Breakdown and recovery is a popular bolt-on feature for many car insurance buyers, but as more cars and vans are being damaged by deliberate neglect of the UK roads network, the cost of that feature is bound to rise. Also, EV and hybrids can take longer to repair, due to the ADAS and sensors which need recalibrating following a minor collision, or damage to steering/suspension.
Quotezone says that spending on road maintenance has almost halved since the financial crisis just over a decade ago, and the recent cost of living crisis has further reduced potholes on the priority list. Even temporary pothole fixtures – which involves filling the hole with a form of asphalt treatment – have also decreased by almost half in some counties.
There are also claims from members of the public that councils are not properly inspecting potholes that have been reported online. Several county councils have admitted that filling in potholes is no longer a priority as a result of the rising cost of living, with less funding for UK highways.
The increasing number of potholes and sunken drainage grids or manhole covers are also a dangerous hazard for cyclists, e-scooter riders of moped delivery riders. A car may suffer suspension damage, but a two-wheeler rider might be pitched off completely, possibly suffering serious injuries or death, depending on the traffic conditions at the time. Cycling is being promoted by Councils and governments in the UK, with billions being spent, but the roads are being neglected thus making it a dangerous place to cycle – no joined up thinking at all.
Quotezone.co.uk are calling for councils and the government to urgently act on what is a UK wide problem.
Data shows that the worst pothole affected area in the UK is by far Northumberland with over 180,000 potholes reported over four years, followed by Cornwall and Kirklees in West Yorkshire. Newcastle, Liverpool and Suffolk also have some of the worst potholed roads in the UK as well as Fife and Glasgow in Scotland, and Newry, Mourne & Down joined by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon in Northern Ireland.
Greg Wilson, Founder and CEO of Quotezone.co.uk said: “We all know how bad it can be to drive down roads which are full of potholes, and unfortunately the problem does not seem to be going away.
“Most, of us have had damage caused by a pothole, or know someone that has. We are expecting a winter of extreme weather and with spending on road maintenance on the decline, we could expect to see a significant increase in pothole related claims. This will make UK roads more dangerous for all road users, and that’s why we’re calling on local authorities and the government to act now ahead of the worsening weather and make a start on fixing the UK’s pothole problem.”