A few weeks ago we reported that the cold weather has caused an increase in the amount of car insurance claims due to accidents, as well as contributed to the amount of potholes on roads across the UK. Potholes are generally created when water gets into small cracks in the road, freezes, and then expands making the cracks even worse. Soon, large holes appear in the roads, which can cause damage to vehicles’ suspension and body work if they are driven over too quickly. It has already been estimated that over three hundred million pounds worth of damage to vehicles is caused by potholes every year, and it is not likely to improve any time soon.
This is due to the fact that it has been revealed that highway maintenance firms are using cheap materials when attempting to fix potholes, meaning that they are only fixed temporarily and will soon return. It has been claimed that during the last decade the government has been using substandard asphalt when maintaining both local and major roads. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, managing director of Potholes.co.uk Duncan McClure said: “The pothole epidemic is the direct result of years of under-investment in our roads by the Government. Temporary fixes have just escalated the problem over the years and our highways have now got more holes than Swiss cheese. Unless more permanent repair materials and methods are adopted immediately, Britain may never again be able to get through a winter without having to contend with a Third World road network.”
Even more worrying is the fact that the recent severe weather will create even more potholes, and as the government has cut half a billion pounds worth of funding on roads maintenance it is unlikely for them to be adequately fixed any time soon. It is estimated that the average pothole is currently four inches deep, which is a whole inch deeper than the year before, and the Local Government Association have claimed that Britain is experiencing a pothole epidemic. For drivers that want to avoid damaging their cars, it is advisable to drive as slowly as possible when travelling on roads affected by potholes.