Pothole Crisis on UK Roads

Friday, 22 February 2013

Last year’s record rainfall – with an average of 1,095.8mm of rain falling in England during 2012, the highest since records began in 1910 – has led to something of an epidemic of potholes on Britain’s roads, meaning a bumpy ride for motorists.

The persistent rainfall and flooding over the past year led many roads to become saturated and puddle-ridden, making existing surface unevenness even worse and accelerating the appearance of new potholes.

Back in November, the Local Government Association, which is responsible for 180,000 miles of road in England and Wales, blamed Coalition spending cuts – which have seen the Association’s budget slashed by half a billion pounds – for the pothole problem, as they claim that they are unable to complete road repairs to the same standard as in previous years.

Local councils seem to be doing their best to tackle the issue, however, with West Sussex County Council reporting that they have road maintenance crews fixing potholes at a rate of 1,250 per week.

Elsewhere in the country, Worcestershire county council has pledged to spend a whopping extra £2.5 million (on top of government funds of £3.2 million) on road repairs, including cracks and potholes, over the next three years.

Whilst potholes might seem like a relatively minor annoyance (though no-one likes a bumpy drive) they can actually cause significant damage to your tyres and steering, which you may need to make a car insurance claim to repair.

If the roads around your local area are riddled with potholes, one way to make a difference (and to help prevent unnecessary car insurance claims) is to report the problem to your local authority – most councils now offer a number of channels for reporting, allowing you to get in touch online, over the phone or even via free mobile apps.

When reporting a pothole, it helps if you can provide specific information about its location (street address) and a rough estimation of its width and depth. This should help the council to get the problem sorted more quickly – hopefully making your journey run a lot more smoothly!

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