UK heads for ‘Third World’ roads as £3 million a day pothole crisis deepens
07/03/11 12:19 Filed in: News
Drivers could be forking out nearly £3 million every day – or £1 billion a year – to repair cars damaged by Britain’s crumbling roads, according to Potholes.co.uk
The road maintenance campaign website, set up by the UK’s leading direct car warranty provider, Warranty Direct, is warning that Britain will have “Third World” roads unless something significant is done.
Potholes.co.uk analysed 150,000 of Warranty Direct’s policies over a three-year period and found that nearly six percent of vehicles suffer axle or suspension damage linked to potholes or road defects each year. The average cost of repair stood at £312 but individual bills were as high as £4,000. The average for damaged wheels and burst tyres, is £277.
I can certainly relate to this as it has cost us £300 to replace otherwise perfectly good tyres that had been damaged beyond repair by pothole impact. I shudder to think what damage has been done to the suspension of our cars over the past few months.
All of which makes me think that a big tough ‘Chelsea Tractor’ may be environmentally unfriendly in city centres, but it is becoming the only way to negotiate the appalling road surfaces we now encounter.
Our governments – local and national – have a duty to maintain the value of public assets like our roads. But, it seems that the green-fuelled anti-car dogma in government circles has been used as an excuse to shelve road maintenance programmes.
If we ignored the need to maintain our homes, the value would soon plummet as the roof fell in. No surprise then that our publicly-owned roads network is now more of a liability than an asset.
For that, our politicians and authorities should be held to account.
Recently the Auditor General in Scotland did just that, when he issued a hard-hitting warning that there was a £2.25 billion backlog of maintenance North of the Border
and warning that we were storing up trouble for the next generation.