Motortrades Insight Magazine Online

Pothole Wars: motorists brace for 25 years of worsening weather, potholes and dodging mini-craters

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Published: 26 March 2013
Potholes are destroying the finances of Britain’s hard-working drivers - motorists who are being forced into balancing their finances to pay for car repairs and food for their families.

With a recent survey revealing two thirds of motorists have found themselves in a dangerous situation, swerving to avoid a pothole, drivers in the West Midlands have been worst hit with 76 per cent swerving or braking suddenly to avoid the 2.2 million craters that plague Britain's roads.

Potholes on UK Roads
Throughout the UK, the overall average number of motorists forced to swerve stands at 8,682,000 – or 27 per cent. That is an 11.9 per cent increase from two years ago, when only 7,757,000 drivers were estimated to have been forced to evade potholes, according to Kwik Fit estimates.

So as Britain’s roads worsen, will it get any better? No, is the simple answer, according to Sir John Beddington, the UK’s Chief Scientist, who believes there is enough CO2 in the atmosphere for there to be more droughts and floods over the coming 25 years.

And if that proves to be the case, councils would literally be throwing money down the drain in the constant battle with the weather – snow, ice and storms being the cause of worsening potholes.

“Potholes are a growing problem for motorists, not just through the damage they cause, but the fact that they force drivers to make risky manoeuvres,” explained Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit. “A motorist who suddenly veers around a hole, or brakes heavily without warning, will give other road users very little time to react.  It’s no surprise that more than three million drivers have either been in, or witnessed an accident caused by a driver avoiding a pothole and this recent spell of freezing weather is only going to make the situation worse.”

Potholes on UK roads
In avoiding potholes, around 2.2 million people had to come to a complete halt – a hazard to drivers and cyclists behind them who often have to swerve or slam on the brakes.

Meanwhile, nearly six million drivers hit the kerb and 1.8 million drivers irresponsibly mounted pavements, terrifying thousands of elderly people who were driving their mobility scooters, taking their adorable terriers for a walk or simply strolling to their local store to pick up the newspaper.

But local councils simply do not have the money to fix every pothole before more craters emerge.

And with winters like this year’s expected to become commonplace over the next two decades, motorists should not remain too optimistic about the UK’s pothole war being won.

Motortrades Insight recently reported on the increase in the number of cars sustaining suspension damage as a result of poor road maintenance.
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