According to the latest research from the RACs annual ‘Report on Motoring’, nearly half of British motorists believe that the condition of ‘local’ roads, which do not include motorways or major A roads, have become far worse during 2019.
From the 1,753 motorists surveyed, 49% expressed dissatisfaction with the deteriorating state of everyday routes, due in large part to potholes and poor road surface conditions.
Just 11% of those surveyed believed local roads had improved, while 40% believed there had been no change for better or worse during 2019.
Pothole damage is an everyday hazard for the everyday motorist and motor trade professional test driving new and used cars on trade plates.
The force of the impact from a pothole can cause a variety of problems, including tyre damage, poor wheel alignment and balance, not to mention shock absorbers and broken suspension springs.
According to Kwik Fit, the cost of pothole damage to the British motorist is approximately £915 million per annum. In certain cases, drivers may be able to claim compensation for any damage caused from the relevant local authority or Highways Agency, but the claim process is not always entirely straightforward.
Of course, drivers can also claim for pothole damage against their insurance policy, but this has obvious implications for their no claims bonus and cost of future premiums.
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Poor road surface conditions were not the only issues for British motorists, the inadequate maintenance of grass and other roadside vegetation caused concern due to the poor visibility of roads and roadside signage.
There also appeared to be a difference of opinion between rural and urban motorists; 58% of out-of-town drivers voiced the opinion that local roads had deteriorated, compared with 49% nationwide and 25% of drivers based in London said local roads had improved, compared with a national average of just 11%.
Nevertheless, the latest RAC figures represented a significant improvement on those for in 2018, when 66% of British motorists believed local roads had deteriorated in the preceding twelve months.
In 2018, the deterioration of local roads was the major concern for 17%, or the equivalent of 6.8 million British motorists. In 2019, this figure dropped back to 11%, or the equivalent of 4.4 million motorists, placing the issue in third place in the overall list of motoring-related concerns.
Head of Roads Policy at the RAC, Nicholas Lyes, helped to keep things in perspective by saying, ‘This year, our research findings showed a third of drivers we surveyed listed the condition and maintenance of local roads as one of their top four concerns from a list of twenty motoring issues.’