Pothole damage doubles in a decade, according to RAC

Government to clamp down on bodged roadworks

Utility firms would have to guarantee their road repairs last for at least five years

ROAD repairers could be held more accountable for shoddy road repairs under plans put forward by the Department for Transport (DfT), in an effort to combat the UK’s chronic pothole problem.

The DfT is seeking to increase the minimum guaranteed lifespan for road repairs from at least two years to at least five years. If a pothole forms or the road condition deteriorates substantially within five years, the utility firm responsible for the work will have to come back and do the job again.

To help ensure longevity of the repair, new asphalt standards would be introduced that require a higher bitumen content, keeping roads sturdier for longer.

However, rather than force utility companies to shoulder any additional costs for the higher standards, or repairs that have failed within five years, the DfT admits the financial burden would “inevitably be passed on to the consumer”.

The DfT’s roadworks consultation, which runs until May 1, is the latest part of the government’s plans to curb the effects of potholes, which reportedly cause £1.7bn of damage to cars per year. In February 2019, the DfT pledged £23m to pothole repair projects, and £420m was allocated to road maintenance in the November 2018 Budget.

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