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Pothole breakdowns hit three-year high

The number of pothole-related breakdowns dealt with by RAC patrols in the second quarter reached their highest level since 2015.

RAC patrols dealt with more pothole-related breakdowns between April and June than in any other second quarter since 2015

RAC patrols dealt with more pothole-related breakdowns between April and June than in any other second quarter since 2015

Between April and June, the RAC recorded a total of 4,091 call-outs for damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs or distorted wheels – faults which are most likely to be directly attributed to poor quality road surfaces. This represented 1.8% of all breakdowns among RAC members.

Although the figure is down 2.3% on the 5,540 breakdowns seen in the first quarter, the fall was less than a year ago (Q1 2017 2.7% v Q2 2017 1.6%), and the RAC said this can only mean that our roads are still in a poor state of repair after the harsh winter weather.

The RAC added that its Pothole Index, which is based on a quarterly rolling analysis of pothole-related breakdowns, also shows a worsening picture with five successive quarters of deterioration.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “Central government must now consider how we can develop a long-term plan to improve the condition of our local roads. We continue to urge the Department for Transport to work with the Treasury to ring-fence a proportion of fuel duty receipts over a sustained period to fund this. The RAC calculates that if 2p a litre from fuel duty were directly invested into local roads over a period of 10 years in addition to current funding, this would give councils sufficient resource to eliminate the backlog in repairs and preventative maintenance.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.