Huge pothole ‘takes out’ five cars in just one hour

Huge pothole ‘takes out’ five cars in just one hour
An enormous pothole caused serious damage to five vehicles in the space of just one hour after it opened up on a busy A-road in Stoke-on-Trent.

The hole – which is around seven inches deep – appeared on the southbound A34 on Sunday evening.

Police were forced to corner off part of the road after vehicles were being forced to swerve away from the crater with five cars believed to have blown tyres or wheel trims, according to the Stoke Sentinel.

The news comes shortly after a report found 24,000 miles of UK roads were in urgent need of repair, with the backlog forecast to cost around £9.3 million.

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The RAC has now warned the UK is “experiencing a plague of potholes” and says it’s more important than ever to get the UK’s roads up to scratch following the recent “toxic combination” of freezing weather and torrential conditions.

RAC spokesman Pete Williams said: “There is little doubt that the UK is experiencing a plague of potholes with road surface damage at some of the worst levels we have seen in years. The toxic combination of rain, ice and snow over a prolonged period have taken their toll and we are expecting that damage to cars will be significantly up on the same period in 2017.

Furthermore the state of our local roads is presenting a real road safety danger for many drivers and particularly for cyclists and bikers who are most vulnerable and at risk of life-threatening accidents.

“It is clear that we are now at a crisis point in many parts of the country and we know that local authorities will struggle to address this damage with budget pressures. We would also strongly urge them to ensure that repairs are carried out to a sufficient quality to ensure that this is a one-time fix rather than poor repairs which will simply lead to the potholes reappearing in a matter of months.”

The organisation previously urged the government to come up with a long-term plan to improve the condition of all UK roads, after the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey warned that 24,400 miles of essential road maintenance is needed in the next year.

Mr Williams added: “This is why the RAC is calling for the Government to ring-fence 5p per litre from existing fuel duty revenue to pay for long-term local road maintenance and repairs. We estimate that over five years this will raise the level of funds needed to bring our roads back to a state that is ‘fit for purpose’.”

The organisation also suggested that Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) receipts should go towards fixing local roads as well as funding motorway and major highway repairs.

This would help lessen the £3.3 million shortfall between the money local authorities receive and the amount needed for repairs.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said at the time: “This latest report clearly highlights that the shortfall between what councils need to fix the roads, and the cash they actually have at their disposal, is as enormous as ever.

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“In just two years’ time, motorways and major roads will enjoy ring-fenced funding from Vehicle Excise Duty receipts. If just a fraction of existing fuel duty revenue was ring-fenced specifically for local roads, over just a few years enough could be raised to allow councils to make proper, lasting repairs that are fit for the 21st century.

“As things stand, all road users are faced with the prospect of road surfaces falling into an even worse state making for increasingly uncomfortable, expensive and, in some cases, downright dangerous journeys.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.