Fringe Box



Letter: National Pothole Day

Published on: 15 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 13 Jan, 2024

A Guildford pothole

From: Tony Rooth

former county and borough councillor

Today (January 15) is National Pothole Day.

The poor condition of Britain’s local roads has led to the RAC dealing with the highest number of pothole-related breakdowns it has seen in any third quarter since it began recording this data in 2006, according to the latest data for potholes.

The UK is thought to have more than one million potholes, with these road defects being one of the leading causes of car breakdowns

Residential and rural roads are particularly blighted by potholes which threaten not only tyres and vehicle damage but also the health and safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

The major cause of potholes may be the UK’s weather – which is going to be more uncertain as climate change and cyclical weather changes – heavy rain, freezing cold and hot weather, hit the UK.

Our recent record flooding and hot summers show that changes in our weather will cause more deterioration of our roads and increase in potholes

See: RAC Pothole Index – statistics and data for UK roads

Vehicle insurers have just reported that claims for damage to vehicles have gone up by a record 40 per cent.

UK has fallen almost to the bottom of the league in money spent on repairing local roads- way behind other major nations including France.

See: UK spends least out of 13 nations on repairing roads ‘blighted’ by potholes

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak may promise £8.4 billion towards pothole repairs but this is over the next 11 years. Councils responsible for maintaining our roads estimate the cost of fixing the problem is almost twice as much, £14 billion.

All councils, including those responsible for highways such as Surrey and Hampshire, have been given insufficient money from the central government to repair our roads. There’s not enough tarmac to fill the holes.

Whether county councils have used public money efficiently to fill the holes is for road users to judge.

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Responses to Letter: National Pothole Day

  1. Jan Messinger Reply

    January 15, 2024 at 4:34 pm

    The state of the roads is absolutely awful. We all know not enough money is being spent to fix the problems we have. Of course, if a female was sorting it she would say stop reporting it online and direct a team of people with adequate resources to just go along a section of road and fill every hole they see. I’m sure it would be cheaper than arranging teams to go all over the place patching the holes.

    Everyone wishes that our roads are free from pot holes. But I am not optimistic.

  2. Olly Azad Reply

    January 16, 2024 at 1:26 pm

    Fixing potholes on the roads should be treated like a ‘war footing’ where everything is thrown at it until the job gets done, if it means to tarmac whole roads then be it, but temporary patch ups here and there is not the solution. Before county councils talk of money constraints being a factor they already spend endless amounts of it by repeatedly filling in the holes. With a bit of luck cyclists and motorists might start to see smooth and silky roads once again.

  3. Bernard Quoroll Reply

    January 16, 2024 at 1:53 pm

    Or you could Google “potholes” and “Baltimore” to find a city taking things seriously. The city rewards citizens for sending in the best photo of one and the winner is invited to fill their chosen hole with the Mayor in person! A few years back, the city even ran a scheme which allowed people to “buy” a pothole repair involving a gift card which could be directed to friends or family! Not the way things are done in the UK? Maybe the County could learn some lessons.

  4. Tony Andrews Reply

    January 18, 2024 at 3:49 pm

    SCC has found a solution. You report a pothole, couple of days later you get an email telling you it’s been fixed. You go and have a look – nothing’s been done. This is now the norm for SCC.

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