AA warns drivers to avoid puddles in case they're perilous potholes

AA warns drivers to avoid puddles in case they’re perilous potholes after a record month of related breakdowns

  • Number of callouts for pothole-related breakdowns this year is nearly 511,000

Drivers are being advised to ‘avoid puddles’ after a record month of pothole-related breakdowns.

The AA issued the guidance as it revealed it received 52,541 callouts in October for vehicles damaged by road defects.

That is the most for any October on record.

The total is a 12 per cent increase compared with the same month last year, and is slightly ahead of the previous October high of 52,152 set in 2017.

The AA’s number of callouts for pothole-related breakdowns for the year so far stands at nearly 511,000.

Drivers have been advised to avoid puddles after a record number of callouts for pothole-related breakdowns (Stock Photo)

This represents a daily average of more than 1,500.

Common vehicle problems caused by potholes include punctures, distorted wheels, damaged shock absorbers and broken suspension springs.

Potholes are often formed when water enters cracks in the road surface, then freezes and expands.

Garage repair data analysed by the RAC shows drivers are paying an average of £440 if their car needs fixing after hitting a pothole for any damage more serious than a puncture.

The cost of bringing pothole-plagued local roads in England and Wales up to scratch has been estimated at £14billion.

Earlier this month Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged to tackle ‘the scourge of potholes’ with an extra £8.3billion of funding for local roads maintenance in England using money saved by scrapping HS2 north of Birmingham.

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.

‘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.’

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.’

An estimated £14billion has been is needed to repair pothole-plagued local roads in England and Wales (Stock Photo)

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 £8.3billion 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.’

Source: Read Full Article