Pothole damage to cars soars despite dry and mild winter as road

first_imgDry weather usually offers a welcome respite for the UK’s roads, giving highways workers the chance to patch up the most notorious potholes.The RAC described the figures as a major concern because it expected the mild and comparatively dry winter to lead to a reduction in incidents.”Our figures sadly show a surprising and unwelcome first quarter rise in the number of breakdowns where the poor quality of the road surface was a major factor,” said RAC chief engineer David Bizley. “We had expected a figure no worse than that recorded in the first quarter of 2016 (4,026) and it is very concerning that the roads, strangely, appear to have deteriorated in a mild, comparatively dry winter.”A recent Alarm study by the Ashphalt Industry Alliance found that local authorities need more than £12 billion of funding to bring the road network up to scratch.The gap between the amount councils say they received in the last year, and what they require to keep roads in reasonable order, is almost £730 million. Pothole-related damage to cars has surged during the start of this year, figures show, despite a dry and mild winter that would normally see a reduction in breakdowns.The RAC said the condition of local roads is on a “knife-edge” and one season of cold and wet weather could make it worse than ever.It dealt with 6,500 breakdowns that were likely linked to poor road surface between January and March, which is an increase of almost two-thirds (61.4 per cent) on the same period in 2016.This included broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers and distorted wheels. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Bizley added: “We still have a long way to go to ensure the whole road network – not just our major roads which are enjoying one of the largest investment programmes in a generation – are really fit for purpose.”Certainly anyone that has experienced a breakdown as a result of hitting a pothole will know just how frustrating that can be, not to say dangerous and expensive if damage to their vehicle is sustained.”The backlog in preventative maintenance reported by the Alarm survey suggests we are on a knife-edge and it will only take one season of poor weather to take us back to where we were a few years ago.”The Local Government Association, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, say councils fix a pothole every 19 seconds, amounting to 1.75 million per year.The Met Office said the mean temperature was 5C between the beginning of December and end of February, which is 1.3C up on the 1981 to 2010 average.There was a provisional estimate of 252mm in rainfall, which is 24 per cent less than the 1981 to 2010 average.In 2016 however, the winter was deluged by 529mm which is 160 per cent of the average.The RAC warned of pothole numbers increasing at an “unprecedented rate” after it released its last batch of breakdown data in January.center_img The RAC’s data included call outs for broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers and distorted wheels. The last time the firm recorded as many pothole-related defects was in the first quarter of 2015. It is very concerning that the roads, strangely, appear to have deteriorated in a mild, comparatively dry winterDavid Bizley, RAC chief engineerlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *