How Can Potholes Problems Increase By A Third?

Wed 26th Dec 2018

More than half a million potholes were reported by the public in the last year, and with the RAC claiming that the problem is worse by a third, is the state of British roads really that bad?

The RAC has increasingly campaigned for better roads in the UK and last year submitted Freedom of Information requests to 212 UK councils to find out how their roads were performing. Of those councils who returned comparable figures, there were 512,000 potholes reported, up 44 per cent on the 2015 figure.

“It is shocking to see the number of reported potholes in Britain has risen by nearly 50 percent in two years,” said RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes.
“Our own analysis of breakdown data shows the damage suffered by motorists is a constant source of frustration and expense, but the scale of the problem is obviously far greater than the numbers show.”

It has been suggested by some, including the hard-hit councils, that with more media focus on potholes it is much more likely that the driving public will feel inclined to report a pothole. However the RAC believes that the sheer size of the increase is further proof that the condition of the UK’s roads is worsening and Lyes continued: “when users report potholes, the onus is on the authority concerned to fix them or risk suffering subsequent compensation claims as a result of not doing so.

“For that reason, we urge everyone to report potholes, so that motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and other road users don’t suffer the consequences.”

Though the problem could be worse than the RAC figures suggest, due to the lack of comparable figures from some councils, the motoring organisation is still encouraging drivers to report poorly maintained roads by using the easy-to-use pothole reporting tools available online for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.