UK

Pothole damage affects 39% of drivers, AA survey finds

A car driving past a pothole Image copyright PA

The AA is calling on councils to "get to grips" with road maintenance after a survey found 39% of UK drivers reported pothole damage in the past two years.

The motoring organisation also called for extra funding for road repairs in the chancellor's Budget next week.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said there was a £12bn backlog in road repairs that would take councils "more than a decade" to clear.

The UK government said it was providing "unprecedented levels of investment".

'Patching up'

In an AA survey of 25,208 drivers, 39% said their tyres, bodywork or other parts of their vehicles had been affected after hitting a pothole in the past two years.

AA president Edmund King called on local authorities to "get to grips with fundamental road maintenance" such as poor drainage and crumbling surfaces.

He also said Chancellor George Osborne should allocate extra funding for road repairs to "reverse the toll on vehicles and their owners' pockets".

LGA transport spokesman Peter Box said current funding levels and the repairs backlog meant councils "can only keep pace with patching up our roads and filling potholes".

"Long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance is desperately needed," he added.

Road maintenance is devolved to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said the government had allocated a "record £6bn to councils in England to improve local roads over the next five years".

"We topped this up with £250m last year specifically to tackle the blight of potholes," he said.

A Scottish Government spokesman said in the last financial year more than £220m was allocated for the maintenance of motorways and trunk roads, which it said was 20% more than five years ago.

The Welsh and Northern Irish authorities have been approached for comment.

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