POTHOLES WILL TAKE 14 YEARS TO BE FILLED
Classic wheels being ‘written off’ due to poor state of Britain’s roads
The UK’s battered roads have a backlog of potholes and damage that will take 14-years to clear – and continue to cost classic car owners a fortune in repair bills.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 authorities in England and Wales, estimates the figures based on the number of recorded potholes. Councils fix almost two million potholes a year – an average of 12,000 potholes for each local authority in the two countries.
The LGA has appealed to the Treasury ahead of the Autumn Statement on 23 November to use 2p a litre from existing monies taken through fuel duty to fix the problem. The LGA says this would inject an extra £1 billion for road repairs. It’s estimated that the total cost to bring roads up to scratch would be £12bn.
Pothole damage can be a costly headache for classic car owners, and repair specialists say the problem is getting worse. Bedfordshire-based specialist Pristine Alloy Wheel Refurbisher says potential average repair costs range from £60 to more than £1000 for total wheel replacements.
There is also the potential for costly damage to axle and suspension components, particularly on older cars that might not be able to cope with as much shock as newer ones.
Dan Kiff, Pristine Alloy Wheels’ manager, says damage can vary in scale due to speed and the severity of the pothole, causing kinks and bumps or even a twisted wheel.
He says: ‘Damage from potholes on our roads has got so bad that we have seen a marked increase in the amount of wheels that have been written off over the last 18 months.’
Potholes are caused when moisture gets into the cracks in the road which expands when it freezes. The holes get bigger as vehicles drive over them damaging the structure of the road below its surface layer.
Adverse weather conditions and repeated freeze-thaw and wet-dry cycles can increase the amount of potholes on the roads. This is why it is particularly important to keep an eye out during the winter months.
Councillor Martin Tett, the LGA’s transport spokesman, says: ‘It is becoming increasingly urgent to address the roads crisis we face as a nation.
‘Our roads are deteriorating fast and it would take almost £12 billion, and it could be nearly 2030, before we could bring them up to scratch and clear the current roads repair backlog.’
At least this pothole comes with a warning – albeit a late warning.