Breakdowns caused by potholes continue to rise as councils struggle to fund repairs
15 January 2020, 00:49 | Updated: 15 January 2020, 05:10
Vehicle breakdowns caused by potholes were up 20% in the last three months of 2019 compared to same period in the previous year, new figures suggest.
The RAC says it received more than 2,000 call-outs for problems such as distorted wheels, broken suspension springs and damaged shock absorbers between October and December.
And the frequency of incidents has been increasing for some time with motorists now 70% more likely to suffer a breakdown caused by a pothole than in 2006, according to motoring organisation.
The figures have been released to coincide with the sixth National Pothole Day, set up by safety campaigners to highlight the state of the UK's roads.
Pressure on budgets has seen £400m cut from the money available for road repairs in England and Wales in the last 10 years, according to the Local Government Association.
Industry body The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) has called on the government to allocate an additional £10bn across the next decade to tackle the country's pothole epidemic.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: "We might so far be experiencing a milder but wetter winter than in the last couple of years, but our figures clearly show the problem of potholes has not gone away.
"Our patrols are still attending on average around one pothole-related breakdown every hour of the day.
"We anticipate the Government will pledge further funds to help cash-strapped councils mend potholes in the March Budget, but such pledges are only chipping away at the problem, and they're unfortunately not addressing the root cause of why so much of the UK is still characterised by crumbling road surfaces."
A recent report by the Commons Transport Select Committee described the current short-term approach to financing road maintenance as "not fit for purpose" and declared the condition of local roads in England a "national scandal".