Potholes Cause Expense For Government And Drivers

Motorcycle riders could see themselves having to pay out for damages that are caused by problems with the roads, such as potholes or bumps. TyreSafe cited the AA?s research as showing that there was ?320 million in damages to vehicles throughout 2006, the company also revealed that there was a 42% increase in pothole-related accidents … Continue reading "Potholes Cause Expense For Government And Drivers"

Motorcycle riders could see themselves having to pay out for damages that are caused by problems with the roads, such as potholes or bumps.

TyreSafe cited the AA?s research as showing that there was ?320 million in damages to vehicles throughout 2006, the company also revealed that there was a 42% increase in pothole-related accidents during the last 10 years in England.

This has not only affected car and van insurance but also bike insurance, more claims have been made due to the severity of the poor condition of Britain?s roads. TyreSafe went on to warn riders and motorists that particular care should be taken when it is dark or visibility is poorer than usual, this is because it will be even more difficult to see potential dangers such as potholes at these times.

TyreSafe spokesperson said: ?Damage to the tyre is not immediately visible and therefore motorists may be unaware of this until a potentially catastrophic failure occurs, thus putting the vehicle occupants and other road users at risk.”

Councils are responsible for roads, and they say they try to fill potholes or other dangers on the road as soon as they are made aware of them. The AA says that this is not always the case, the Automobile Associations estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of incidences of damage to road which councils are aware of but do not repair.

Edmund King, president of the AA said: “Last year in London alone there were 35,000 potholes that were reported and not filled in, so we can only estimate across the whole of the country there must be hundreds and thousands of potholes not being filled in.”

Unhappy road users across the UK note potholes and other road damage online, and CTC, a cycling group, logged almost 10,000 complaints over the previous year. CTC believes that council funds do not stretch to fixing these problems, and the government needs to fund these repairs.

Figures released by the AA and the road builders? association Asphalt Industry Alliance have suggested that the UK?s local authorities are paying as much out in compensation for injury and damage caused by potholes as they are filling them in.
Richard Wakelen, chief executive of National Joint Utilities Group which carries out reinstatements on road surfaces said: “If our members do fall short then Highways Authorities rightly hold them directly responsible and ensure the utility companies return to correct the problem.”

According to the government, its spending on repairing roads has trebled over the last decade, it also said that councils should have an ongoing programme of repairs and should not wait until problems and potholes appear. Road Minister Rosie Winterton thinks that local authorities need to be aware of how many roads are under its control.
She said: “They need to see what sort of condition they are in and they need to have an ongoing programme of investment in them.

“They need to make sure they are regularly mending roads not leaving it until they are in such bad condition that it becomes incredibly expensive.”

The Local Government Associations said that councils simply do not have the funds to deal with the backlog of repairs required on Britain?s roads. The money cannot be raiding through council tax or by adding to the government allocation of its own funds.

David Sparks of the LGS estimated that another ?200 million would be needed to reach the government?s targets for filling existing potholes by 2010. He said: “Our evidence shows that the backlog of work plus the escalation in costs means that we haven’t got enough money to solve the problem.”

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