IAM RoadSmart has backed calls for a long-term plan to tackle the ‘national scandal’ of potholes on UK roads – saying nearly half of people it surveyed have experienced pothole damage to their vehicles.
The Government’s Transport Committee has today (1 July) issued a report stating that the current short-term approach to financing road maintenance as being “not fit for purpose”.
The report says: “Potholes are a headache for everyone and a severe risk for many, says the report. A deteriorating local road network undermines local economic performance and results in direct costs to taxpayers, either through rising costs of deferred work or through a mend and make do approach that does not represent good value for money in the long-term.
“It also damages vehicles and causes injuries to passengers, particularly those with existing medical conditions,” it added.
A previous survey of more than 7,000 IAM RoadSmart members responded on line with a clear majority thinking that our roads have become much worse in recent years, that there are many more potholes than ever before, and that they have to swerve to avoid potholes on every journey.
Some 47% – over 3,400 respondents – say they have experienced damage to their car, commercial vehicle, motorbike or bicycle or personal injury as a result of hitting a pothole.
Around 90% have spotted a deterioration of some level in the roads they use with just over 50% rating the state of their roads as ‘much worse’ in the past three years and 38% rating them ‘worse.’
Some 81% – close to 6,000 people – say they have noticed ‘many more’ potholes in the past three years, adding in the 13% who have seen ‘a few more,’ that gives a total of 94% who report more potholes.
Over 56% say they have to take avoiding action on every journey to dodge potholes, while 27% say they have to steer around a pothole every day.
An Asphalt Industry Alliance investigation found that councils in England and Wales would need to spend a total of £9.8 billion over 10 years to bring all their roads up to standard.
Rodney Kumar, IAM RoadSmart spokesman, said: “While we understand that local government funding has been cut, the effect of pothole damage to beleaguered British motorists is huge. It costs them a fortune, stops them getting to work and has a detrimental effect on the economy.
“It really is time to ring-fence funds for tackling this pothole epidemic, and get the problem sorted once and for all.”