Pothole purge urged in next Parliament

Three quarters of drivers say all potholes should be filled within a week, with almost a fifth saying that repairs should all be completed within 24 hours, according to a survey. The poll of 18,000 members of the AA also found that drivers think councils should have more demanding targets when it comes to filling potholes. AA president Edmund King said that with a General Election looming now is an ideal time for all parties to tell the public how they intend to repair and improve our roads.

“Our members are clear that the worsening condition of our road network needs addressing quickly,” he said. “Smooth highways don’t just help with keeping compensation costs down, they can prevent deaths of vulnerable road users like cyclists and motorcyclists.”

The AA claims that as central Government funding to local authorities has reduced over recent years some authorities have cut the number of road inspection engineers and decreased the frequency of road inspections.

Also this week the RAC said its patrols attended more than 6500 pothole related breakdowns in the first quarter of this year, a rise of 63% compared to the same period last year.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “Our figures sadly show a surprising and unwelcome first quarter rise in the number of breakdowns where the poor quality of the road surface was a major factor. We had expected a figure no worse than that recorded in the first quarter of 2016 (4,026) and it is very concerning that the roads, strangely, appear to have deteriorated in a mild, comparatively dry winter.

“As a nation we still have a long way to go to ensure the whole road network is really fit for purpose.”