UK’s potholes pose problems

The UK’s potholes pose problems for all road users.
Maintenance / March 20, 2024 45 seconds Read
By MJ Woof
The UK has a serious pothole problem that causes traffic delays and vehicle damage - image © courtesy of Mike Woof

The UK’s pothole problem is a cause of traffic delays and damage to vehicles, as shown by the Asphalt Industry Alliance's (AIA) annual Alarm survey. Insufficient maintenance is a serious issue and local councils anticipate having to repair up to 2 million potholes during the current financial year. This represents a jump of 43% from the 1.4 million potholes repaired in the previous financial year. The figure of 2 million potholes is almost as high as the 2.2 million seen for the 2015-2016 financial year.

To tackle the problem, councils have increased their road repair budgets by 2.3% for the 2023-2024 financial year compared with the 2022-2023 financial year. But this increase is failing to match the 16% increase in costs from carrying out the repairs required. An estimated £16.3 billion will be needed to address the potholes on UK roads.

Modern vehicles do collect data as they drive along roads, which could be used more efficiently to identify problem areas requiring repairs. However, this is not being utilised adequately at present. 

The increase in the number of potholes on UK roads mirrors the reduction in budgets local councils have been allotted from central government over the last 14 years.

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