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Pothole-related breakdowns soar as road condition worsens

Central Government is being urged to push ahead with providing ring-fenced, long-term funding for local roads as the number of pothole-related breakdowns rose 11% last year.

The Government is being urged to make a funding pot for road repairs

The Government is being urged to make a funding pot for road repairs

RAC data for 2017 shows its patrols attended 2,830 pothole-related breakdowns last year – up 11% on the 2,547 in 2016. And although an increase is always expected in pothole-related breakdowns between the third and fourth quarters of the year, as the weather turns colder, breakdowns rose by 45% between the last two quarters of 2017, compared to 38% in 2016

October to December of last year also saw the highest-ever proportion of fourth quarter RAC breakdowns where poor quality road surfaces were likely a factor, with 1.2% of all breakdowns associated with such faults – up from 0.8% in 2015 and 1% in 2016. Previously, the highest proportion of Q4 RAC ‘pothole’ breakdowns stood at 1.1% in 2013.

The RAC also warned that despite the promise of additional pothole funding in the Autumn Budget, road condition could deteriorate further if weather conditions worsened.

Earlier this week a report from the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) urged the Government to look at VED reform in the short term and dynamic road pricing in the longer term, as it said four decades of under-investment in roads had resulted in “a road network in significant need of improvements”. Meanwhile the Local Government Association (LGA) has called for long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance to tackle a growing discrepancy between funding for national roads and council-funded local roads.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley added: “We want to see local authorities given the certainty of ring-fenced, long-term funding from central government sufficient to enable local authorities to bring all of the UK’s roads up to a standard that is fit-for purpose.”

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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.