RAC patrols attended an average of 27 pothole-related breakdowns each day in 2021 – a total of 10,123 throughout the year
The number of pothole-related breakdowns attended by RAC patrols has hit a three-year high, with 10,123 incidents in 2021, which works out as an average of 27 per day.
RAC customers experienced 19 per cent more breakdowns caused by broken suspension springs, distorted wheels and damaged shock absorbers in 2021 than in 2020 and 10 per cent more than in 2019.
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These types of breakdowns represented 1.5 per cent of all callouts throughout the year, up from 1.2 per cent in 2020, 1.1 per cent in 2019 and 1.4 per cent in 2018.
Furthermore, the RAC Pothole Index, which analyses pothole-related breakdowns in the context of seasonal weather to create a representative long-term indication of the condition of the UK’s roads, is now at 1.63, up from 1.48 at the end of September 2021. This means drivers are now more than 1.5 times more likely to break down after hitting a pothole than they were when the RAC began collecting data in 2006.
Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, commented: “The rot appears to have well and truly set in when it comes to the country’s roads, with our patrols going out to vast numbers of drivers who, through no fault of their own, are breaking down because of the wear and tear caused by potholes.
“This is ridiculous because it is almost entirely avoidable if roads were maintained properly. With drivers contributing so much in terms of tax to the Government, the very least they deserve are roads that are fit for purpose.
“Potholed roads are a menace, not a mere annoyance; they can cause thousands of pounds of unnecessary damage to vehicles, make using our roads uncomfortable and can be a serious road safety hazard for anyone on two wheels.”
Lyes called for a greater proportion of taxation to be ring-fenced for the maintenance of local roads.
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