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Potholes become big driver concern as roads get worse

 Published 15th February 2021
Driver Guides  General Guides 

How's the road outside your house? We're not suggesting you go out and take a survey, but what's the general condition? Tick whichever is applicable:

[ ] I could play billiards on it

[ ] Fraying round the edges a bit but otherwise OK

[ ] Worrying signs of crumbly cheese-like deterioration

[ ] It's like a lunar landscape out there

We're asking the question because IAM RoadSmart's annual Safety Culture Report , which tracks drivers' changing attitudes to key road safety issues over time, has found that three-quarters of drivers are now worrying more about potholes than they are about other drivers texting or using their mobile phones. As an issue, it's grown in the past three years.

After the current cold spell with the Beast from the East 2, the chances of our roads not deteriorating further is as likely as, well, meeting a yeti to be honest.

That's because rainwater, which has seeped into the asphalt, freezes in a cold snap. As the water freezes it expands, and weakens or cracks the road surface, which then starts to crumble as vehicles drive over it.

Neil Greig, who is IAM RoadSmart's Director of Policy & Research, said:

“The pothole situation on UK roads has now become much more than just irritating, it's a significant threat to personal safety.

“We simply can't have vehicles swerving into oncoming traffic or slamming on their brakes without warning to avoid them. Deteriorating roads also put pedestrians and cyclists at greater risk.

“It is clearly a sign of the times when motorists perceive potholes to be a bigger growing concern to them than drink driving and texting. And while the statistics show that the devastating impacts of using a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or using a mobile phone when driving still remain, it does highlight that it is time for the government to take potholes seriously and fix the UK's road network.”

We'd agree with that. We want you to enjoy your new car leased from Gateway2Lease - without having to fear driving around potholes.

And it seems that the Department of Transport has been listening to the concerns of drivers. It has just announced ( 15 February 2021 ) funding to fix the equivalent of 10 million potholes with a further allocation of money to local authorities to the tune of £500 million.

Transport Minister Baroness Vere, who announced the funding, said:

“We know potholes are more than just a nuisance – they can be dangerous to drivers and cyclists alike, and cause damage to thousands of vehicles every year.

“The funding allocated today will help councils ensure roads in their area are kept up to standard, and that the potholes that blight road users can be dealt with promptly.”

The average cost to repair a pothole is £50 says the DfT, meaning there is the opportunity to repair 10 million potholes. Let's hope the money is spent correctly for a smoother driver for all.

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