Drivers’ misery as pothole-related breakdowns surge – state of roads ‘nothing short of scandalous’

A 39 per cent surge in pothole-related breakdowns has seen the RAC respond to 10,076 incidents between January and March for faults likely caused by poor road surfaces.

Reporting by Neil Shaw 

The RAC recorded the jump when comparing incidents from the same period in 2022, saying the state of roads is ‘nothing short of scandalous’. And with common pothole-related problems including damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels, the motoring firm said it is ‘not right that drivers who are struggling to make ends meet are having to fork out’, reports HullLive.

UK Government funding to maintain England’s motorways and A roads was 31 times higher per mile than for local roads in 2022, according to analysis by the Local Government Association. But the government has hiked up its Potholes Fund (with funding going to English councils) by £200 million to £700 million this financial year.

Simon Williams, an RAC roads spokesman, said: “Drivers are telling us that the UK’s local roads are in a worse state than ever, and it’s hard to disagree looking at some of the craters that litter so many of our carriageways. It’s not right that drivers who are struggling to make ends meet are having to fork out for new tyres, wheels, suspension springs and shock absorbers simply because our roads have been allowed to fall into such a dire state of repair.

“We implore the government to think differently to end the pothole plague once and for all. One way could be to ringfence a proportion of fuel duty revenue for the maintenance, repair and improvement of our local roads because, as it stands, the £28 billion collected from drivers is currently just another form of general taxation.”

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said the government is investing more than £5 billion from 2020 to 2025 to maintain local roads, with an extra £200 million announced in the budget, which will help fix ‘millions of potholes a year’, making journeys ‘smoother and safer for everyone’.