Pothole callouts rise by a quarter

Pothole callouts rise by a quarter

Drivers are suffering more at the hands of potholes than they were 12 months ago, the RAC has reported.

The motoring organisation says that it was called out to 25,487 pothole-related breakdowns in 2015, a rise of 24% year on year.

These involved damaged shock absorbers, wheels and suspension.

The RAC says it is particularly worrying that the numbers are up as the winter was mild at the start and the end of 2015.

It has called on the Government to redouble its efforts to improve the nation's road surfaces.

Friday's figures, released to coincide with National Pothole Day (January 15), show that drivers in south-east England experienced the sharpest rise in pothole-related callouts. This number totalled 2,686 - a rise of 62%.

A total of 4,547 drivers affected by potholes in East Anglia made this area the most prolific region for callouts.

Suspension spring problems saw the sharpest increase in callouts with 42% more over 2015 than 2014.

David Bizley, the RAC's chief engineer, said: "Potholes can wreak havoc with vehicles and are therefore understandably hated by motorists.

"It is very worrying that our patrols have dealt with more pothole-related breakdowns in 2015 than they did the year before because we did not experience a particularly cold winter in either year."

He says the Government needs to go beyond its recently announced funding pledge to bring the road maintenance backlog up to date.

Mr Bizley says the fact that there are many more pothole-related callouts amid mild weather suggests that potholes are winning the battle.

Drivers can do their bit by reporting potholes via the RAC's Report-a-Pothole app .

He added: "We shall only win the battle once sufficient preventative road surface maintenance is undertaken to prevent potholes appearing when the first bad weather arrives.

"On top of the £6 billion already promised, the Chancellor made available further funds in the Autumn Statement and whilst this is still not enough to meet the shortfall, it may hopefully mean we will see a decline in 'pothole generated breakdowns' this time next year."

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.