Pothole Index Reveals State Of Britain’s Roads

Tue 20th Apr 2021

New data published by one of the UK’s biggest breakdown recovery companies has revealed that thousands of drivers broke down in the early months of 2021 as a result of hitting a pothole.

The RAC have visited 4694 drivers between January and March of this year, a surprising stat when it is compared to the last three months of 2020 when they only visited 1461 vehicles. The worry is that the sharp rise came at a time when the country was deep into pandemic lockdown.

The steep rise is reportedly the largest the RAC have ever encountered between quarters.

Broken suspension, distorted wheels and damaged shock absorbers, the most obvious signs of pothole damage, were responsible for 2.4 per cent of the call-outs seen in the first three months of the year.

The RAC’s own Pothole Index has shown that local authorities may be struggling after a harsh winter to cover the damage to the roads network, and the Index has shown its first first-quarter index rise since 2018.

“These figures highlight what is a genuinely ‘uncomfortable truth’ for both road users as well as local and national governments – that in many cases, the condition of many roads is now in a desperate state. Put simply, we’ve just had the largest quarterly rise in the number of pothole-related breakdowns on record. And the problem risks getting even worse as pandemic restrictions are eased and the roads get busier,” said the RAC’s Nicholas Lyes.

“In some ways, the quieter roads brought about by national lockdowns could have been an ideal time for councils to start to fix problem road surfaces ready for the arrival of more traffic as restrictions are eased. Sadly, our data suggests this may not have been the case and may also suggest many councils are still simply patching up potholes rather than fixing them properly.”