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At present, councils are refusing to pay out for three quarters of claims, meaning the problem is more than likely going to get worse before it gets better. Almost 50,000 motorists made claims for damage caused by hitting a pothole in 2014, but only 23 per cent were successful. Take a look at our current potholes data breakdown for some eye-opening facts about potholes.
With a backlog of works to roads worth around £12 billion, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced in December 2014 that a record £6 billion would be spent on tackling the pothole issue and on improving local roads between 2015 and 2021.
The investment amounts to £976 million a year which the government believe will be enough to fix around 18 million potholes across the UK. It is the first time councils have been given locked-in funding over a long period of time, which will help them to plan ahead as well as save some money for the taxpayer.
Patrick McLoughlin said: “The £6 billion funding I am announcing today will put an end to short term fixes and will mean we have committed £10 billion between 2010 and 2021.
“This huge investment is part of our long term economic plan to ensure we have a transport network fit for the 21st century.
But will the Conservative’s fix the pothole crisis? To paint a clearer picture, there are currently around 2 million potholes damaging roads across the UK with the average repair bill costing local councils just £58 to fix.
At the same time, motorists are busy spending an average £3,453 on running their vehicles every year which equates to £100billion when applied to the 29.2 million cars on UK roads.
Taking the above into consideration, surely there is enough money in the pot for a little pothole-filling? Or further still, what’s desperately required is significant investment in a decent road infrastructure, something we think motorists deserve.
At present, the crisis continues with local authorities only paying out around one sixth of the sum motorists used to receive in 2012 for pothole damage. Councils are blaming the decline in payment on the rise in claims coupled with the lack of central government funding. In summary, England local authorities estimate the maintenance backlog to be around £12 billion with spending dropping by 22 per cent in real terms over the past 5 years.
Furthermore, worn out road surfaces do not just cause damage to vehicles, they can also be potentially life-threatening for road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists.
The pothole crisis is about prioritisation, and one thing remains clear, the present government will need to move the issue to the top of their priority list if they wish to gain motorists’ votes at this year’s election.
Do you think the Conservatives are doing enough to handle the current pothole crisis? Why not share your thoughts with us below.