Home Business NewsBusinessAutomotive News Drivers warned to ‘avoid puddles’ as councils are only ‘retrospectively’ dealing with them

Drivers warned to ‘avoid puddles’ as councils are only ‘retrospectively’ dealing with them

by LLB staff reporter
27th Nov 23 9:47 am

The AA has issued guidance to motorists to “avoid puddles” after they received a record 52,541 callouts in October for pothole related breakdowns.

Compared to the same month in 2022 this is a total increase of 12% and is slightly higher than the previous high in October 2017 of 52,152.

Most of the problems caused by potholes included punctured tyres, distorted wheels, broken suspension springs and damaged shock absorbers.

Data analysed by the RAC has revealed that motorists are paying out an average of £440 if they hit a pothole for damage more serious than a punctured tyre.

Tony Rich, AA public relations manager, said, “Continuous poor weather and storms such as Babet, Ciaran and Debi are having a two-fold effect on driving conditions.

“What feels like relentless rainwater is covering and increasing the severity of potholes, while also holding back essential road repairs by rightly diverting roads maintenance crews to tackle fallen trees and flooded areas.

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“Our advice to drivers and those on two wheels is to avoid puddles where safe to do so, but if there is no alternative other than to travel through, then reduce your speed and keep an increased distance from the vehicle in front.”

Darren Rodwell, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association – which represents councils in England and Wales, said, “Investing in cost-effective and resilient roads resurfacing, rather than retrospectively dealing with potholes, is a priority for councils.

“The recently announced extra £8.3 billion of funding will help with bringing more of our local road network up to scratch, including reinstating repairs for potholes that had been impacted by inflation.

“Longer term, the Government should award council highways departments with five-yearly funding allocations to give more certainty, bringing councils on a par with National Highways so they can develop resurfacing programmes and other highways improvements, tackling the scourge of potholes.”

A DfT spokesman said, “We are already investing more than £5.5 billion into highways maintenance, and our recent Network North announcement delivers an additional £8.3 billion, the biggest ever increase in funding for local road improvements, and enough to resurface up to 5,000 miles of roads.”

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