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Pothole breakdowns reach half a million for the year in worst-ever October

Pothole breakdowns reach half a million for the year in worst-ever October
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Drivers suffered the worst October on record for pothole-related breakdowns, lifting the yearly total to over half a million incidents, a motoring service finds.

The AA’s recovery teams had to attend to 52,541 incidents on the road across the UK due to damage caused by potholes.

According to the AA’s data, that marked a 12% increase compared to the same time last year. It also means over half a million (510,932) incidents have been recorded so far in 2023 – an average of 1,591 a day.

The increased rainfall caused by Storm Babet contributed to the rise in wheel, tyre and suspension damage to vehicles.

As drivers are set for the worst-ever year for potholes, a survey by the motoring service found that 96% of over 11,000 drivers supported calls for increased investment in road repairs, especially for potholes.

Their wishes may soon be granted as the Government announced last week there would be £8.3bn redirected from the HS2 fund dedicated to road maintenance across England.

Funding for road maintenance ‘cannot come soon enough’

The cash injection will pay to resurface over 5,000 miles of road over the next 11 years. Rishi Sunak said the move would ‘pave the road for better and safer journeys for millions of people across the county’.

Tony Rich, AA public relations manager, said: “Continuous poor weather and storms such as Babet, Cairan and Debi are having a two-fold effect on driving conditions. What feels like relentless rainwater is covering and increasing the severity of potholes while holding back essential road repairs by rightly diverting road maintenance crews to tackle fallen trees and flooded areas.

“The £8.3bn Road Maintenance Fund will offer some respite for drivers, but with the first instalment not being made until April 2024, the funding can’t come soon enough.”

Rich added: “We are also pleased that councils will be encouraged to use the money to resurface streets rather than patch and run. Ensuring the structural integrity of the roads is key to road safety.

“Until then, our advice to drivers and those on two wheels is to avoid puddles where safe to do so, but if there is no alternative other than to travel through, then reduce your speed and keep an increased distance from the vehicle in front.”