40% of roads are in a "terrible" state thanks to potholes

3 April 2014

Roads in the UK have deteriorated over the winter, with 40% of people now claiming local roads are in a "terrible condition", according to the AA.

Its survey of almost 24,000 members indicated that, while local roads are becoming an increasing problem for motorists, main roads are also deteriorating - with 34% of people saying they are in a terrible state.

The poor state of the UK's roads has led to a more than five-fold increase in pothole insurance claims, the AA added. Figures from its insurance arm reveal that claims for pothole-related damage to cars are numbering 173 a week, compared to 33 a week over November and December last year.

There are now around 3.2 million potholes blighting British roads following months of excess rainfall.

"The extreme weather has left the roads in a pretty poor state," said Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance. "It takes serious damage to justify making an insurance claim but over the first few weeks of 2014, an estimated 1,700 private cars have been damaged sufficiently seriously by potholes, to make it worth making a claim.

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Untold damage

In early-March, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced that the government would hand out £140 million to local authorities following England's wettest winter caused untold damage to Britain's roads.

Then, in the Budget, the government promised a further £200 million cash injection for councils to repair potholes.

But Edmund King, AA President, said: "Government emergency handouts like those recently for pothole repairs are welcome but are a sticking plaster rather than a cure that will properly repair our roads for the future. We must ensure that our politicians recognise the crisis as we come up to local and general elections."

"Britain's roads are ill-prepared for the economic recovery and unfit for purpose for many road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists.

"It is unacceptable that each winter, whether it is frost or rain, our roads are crumbling and give way too easily. Bad surfaces with millions of potholes can cause death and injury especially to those on two wheels and lead to expensive damage and insurance claims.”

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