Daily Mail

Beware! March is the peak pothole month

- By Fiona Parker potholes@dailymail.co.uk

MOTORISTS are being warned to prepare for ‘peak pothole season’, with one in eight claims for damage submitted in March.

More than a third of potholerel­ated car breakdowns, bumps and collisions take place in the first three months of the year, according to car insurer Admiral.

And fresh data collected by the firm shows these claims have rocketed by 34 per cent since 2016.

the Daily Mail is campaignin­g for an end to the UK’s pothole plague, which is costing drivers millions of pounds in repairs while putting cyclists at risk of injury or death.

A wet and cold winter has already exacerbate­d Britain’s pothole problem – with bitter temperatur­es and high rainfall leaving record numbers of them in some parts of the country.

Driving over a deep pothole, even at a low speed, can damage a vehicle’s tyres, alloy wheels, steering alignment and suspension.

Motorists who can prove that damage to their vehicle was caused by a pothole can make a claim for cash to cover the cost of repairs – either through their councils or another authority that manages the road, such as National highways.

Meanwhile drivers with fully comprehens­ive car cover can also claim on their insurance.

But inflation and supply shortages have pushed up the price of repairs – and the cost of fixing damage caused by potholes has risen by 16 per cent since last year, according to Admiral.

March is the busiest month for pothole claims – with 12.8 per cent of the annual total received within the month, the firm said.

yesterday AA president edmund King told the Commons transport committee: ‘When you talk to our member drivers about this strategic road network, the state of the roads is their number one concern. Get rid of the potholes!’

Motorists who hit a pothole can increase their chances of a successful claim by taking a picture of the hole and any damage to their vehicle.

lorna Connelly, head of claims at Admiral, said: ‘We see more claims for pothole-related damage in March than in any other month, and with forecaster­s predicting a possible severe weather event at the start of the month similar to the one which caused the Beast from the east in 2018, this year is unlikely to be an exception.

‘Pothole pockets can quickly open up, especially if the weather has been bad, which means they might not have been there the last time you took that route.’

Nicholas lyes, head of roads policy at the rAC, said: ‘this is yet more evidence, if it was needed, of the desperate state of the UK’s roads – and shows the unnecessar­y damage inflicted on drivers through no fault of their own. It’s high time the Government sat up, took notice and finally addressed the country’s pothole plague.’

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