Website suggests £2.68 million per day cost of UK potholes
A report from road maintenance campaign website Potholes.co.uk suggests that the UK’s ongoing pothole epidemic, caused jointly by harsh seasonal weather and government spending cuts, could result in a £2.68 million per day cost to the country’s motorists. The website describes the condition of Britain’s roads as approaching “Third World” standard as a consequence of allowing them to fall into disrepair.
The website, set up by direct car warranty provider Warranty Direct, calculated based on what it says are the average costs of axle and suspension repair (£312) and tyre and/or wheel repair (£277) from an analysis of 150,000 Warranty Direct policies over a three-year period. The UK’s 28.459 million cars (2010 DfT figures) experience an incidence respectively of axel and suspension damage or wheel and tyre damage respectively, leading to damage worth £506,114,856 and £472,988,580 per year, or a combined £2,682,475 every day.
While the average cost of axel and suspension repair stood at £312, Potholes.co.uk said individual bills were as high as £4,000.
Figures for February 2011 show that 39 per cent more potholes were reported on potholes.co.uk than in the same month in 2010. One such motorist, Mrs Hinks, sustained over £4,000 worth of damage to her vehicle after striking a pothole. She said: “It’s shocking how much damage can be done by a pothole, I was lucky not to be hurt. A driver in a less substantial vehicle than my BMW might not have been so lucky.”
Duncan McClure Fisher, of Warranty Direct, said: “Unless something more is done soon, we’ll be faced with a road network that would be more at home in a Third World country. Whether it’s the cumulative effect of continuously driving on bad roads or the sudden jolting of a deep pothole which does the harm, our crumbling roads are costing motorists millions.
“The recent council injection of £100 million will not solve matters. Councils need to wise up and get creative about how to address the problem. Back in December, we predicted that a gloomy combination of a very cold winter, huge underfunding and mediocre repairs to roads could potentially lead to the worst ever pothole season – unfortunately our forecast was largely correct.” The website helps drivers to report potholes by listing local council contact details.
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