POTHOLES are now twice as likely to be the cause of a vehicle breakdown as they were 12 years ago, new research has concluded.
In a new report by the RAC, pothole damage was the cause of 14,220 incidents that the roadside recovery service responded to in the last year, up 1.5% as a proportion of all call-outs it has received over the last 12 months.
The RAC has also found potholes are more than twice as likely to cause a critical failure on a car than they were in 2006. According to the RAC’s Pothole Index data, the chances of having wheels or suspension components severely damaged is 2.5 times higher than it was a dozen years ago.
However, that is down from the figure in 2010, when road users were 3.5 times more likely to experience a pothole-caused breakdown than they were in 2006.
Car damage caused by potholes forms part of wider nationwide concerns over the quality of the road network, which the RAC says is now one of the major problems motorists face. As many as 66% of drivers surveyed by the organisation said the quality of local roads has deteriorated in the last year, and 17% of motorists put the state of nearby roads down as their biggest concern.
Motorways and dual carriageways were also a concern, with 78% of respondents agreeing with the statement that the quality of the UK’s high speed road network was “generally poor”.
Dave Bizely, the RAC’s chief engineer, said: “There is little doubt local road conditions in many parts of the country are substandard and have been so for quite some time. Data from this quarter’s RAC Pothole Index supports this showing there has been a steady deterioration in road condition over the last 18 months with the latest quarter not showing a significant improvement.”