Daily Mail

Pothole plague’s damaging 225 more cars a day

- By Niamh Lynch and David Churchill

POTHOLES have caused an additional 225 breakdowns a day this month amid heavy rain and worsening road conditions, the AA has said.

The motoring group warned that potholes can cause expensive damage and even death for road users – with recent coroners’ reports identifyin­g two cyclists who were killed after hitting one.

And it called on the Government to maintain local roads funding amid fears it could be cut to help plug the £50billion black hole in the nation’s finances.

AA figures show that the number of pothole-related breakdowns has soared in the last fortfears night compared with the average at this time of year.

Its president Edmund King warned the situation will worsen as temperatur­es plummet, adding: ‘Well hidden potholes, deeper than expected, with the ability to cause monumental damage mean our crumbling roads are deteriorat­ing at a rapid rate.

‘An additional 225 pothole related breakdowns a day in November alone is shocking and will only worsen as more rain is predicted and the weather turns cold – causing more damage along the way.

‘On safety grounds alone, we need to see local road investment maintained but the reality is our residentia­l streets need a massive cash injection.’ There are growing that a £500million annual fund capable of fixing around ten million potholes could be targeted as part of spending cuts in the upcoming Budget on Thursday.

Council chiefs have warned that the £2.5billion Potholes Fund – set up to give town halls an extra £500million a year between 2020

21 and 2024-25 – could be pruned for the next two years. With the cost of fixing potholes soaring, they say the fund’s value must rise with inflation.

Jack Cousens of the AA previously warned that drivers would be ‘on a road to hell’ if the funding was slashed, adding: ‘ Roads across the country are in an awful state and winter is just around the corner.’ Councils have faced pressure to improve road conditions in recent months amid a string of failures.

Earlier this year a coroner raised safety concerns with Surrey County Council following the death of cyclist Charles Stringer who suffered fatal chest injuries after hitting a pothole.

It was found that the pothole had been reported to authoritie­s four times in the days before his death in June 2020.

East Sussex County Council was also ordered to review its road repair procedures after cyclist Jennifer Dyer hit a pothole and was thrown into the path of a van in March last year.

A recent survey from the RAC found that three in five drivers think road conditions have worsened in the last year.

In a survey of more than 3,000 motorists, 86 per cent said they had to steer to avoid potholes ‘quite often’ – rising to 90 per cent in rural areas.

‘Deteriorat­ing at a rapid rate’

 ?? ?? Black hole: Campaigner­s fear roads funding could be slashed
Black hole: Campaigner­s fear roads funding could be slashed

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