Is The Government Ignoring Mounting Pothole Crisis?

Sun 19th Jul 2020

As latest figures reveal that up to 4,000 cars a month are experiencing serious damage to their cars due to potholes in the road network, campaigners are asking if the government is doing enough.

According to the AA, who have compiled the data, their own patrols visited 1,500 cars in April with damage caused by potholes, this in the middle of a pandemic lockdown when roads were at their quietest for years.

More concerning is the number of cyclists who have died after hitting potholes, with 24 fatalities between 2009 and 2018, a shocking figure which makes the £2.5billion promised by the government to fix the road network all the more pressing.

Speaking about the problem, the AA’s president Edmund King said: “The toll of pothole damage on cars is already breath-taking but just imagine what will happen when tens of thousands of people take up the Government’s invitation to travel to the shops and work on bicycles and rented e-scooters during trials.

“Only this week, I complained of a pothole that could easily take out a cyclist, particularly in the dark, but was told by the council it isn’t deep enough to fill. Now, with people back on the road again, we would urge councils to fill potholes while the sun shines.”

While government funds promise to fix in the region of 10 million potholes per year, the news from the AA has raised eyebrows in the Commons with Huw Merriman, MP chair of the Transport Committee saying: “The state of our road network is causing damage to vehicles and bikes and poses a risk of serious injury to those who use them. Our committee’s inquiry called for a long-term funding deal for councils to invest in quality roads. Repeatedly filling in holes is more expensive in the long run and doesn’t work.”