As the temperature rises and the UK’s roads begin to clear following the icy weather*, campaign website Potholes.co.uk has noticed a surge in visitor numbers as record numbers of road users report poor roads across the UK.
Potholes.co.uk, which provides council contact details for people to report potholes as well as detailed advice on how to make a claim for damage caused by them, has already received more reports in January than in the whole of December, while daily visitor numbers have doubled in the past month.**
Many users of the site are describing how they’ve suffered from damaged tyres, wheels and suspension following the icy weather.
“The New Year’s ‘Pothole Season’ is well and truly upon us,” said Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct, which set up Potholes.co.uk in 2007. “We’ve seen a surge in people visiting the site and, sadly, we’re hearing the same stories again and again – people are hitting craters caused by icy conditions and already poor road quality, and they are having to pay out for new wheels and tyres.”
Ice causes potholes by breaking the asphalt apart – water runs into any cracks in a road or path and then expands as freezes, tearing the surface apart.
The ice then melts as the temperature rises above zero in the daytime, before freezing again at night and repeating the “freeze and thaw” process on a daily basis.
“The problem is made worse by the fact that in the UK, our roads are dug up so often. Trenches created by utility companies cause weaknesses that the ice gets into, and many of the pictures posted on the site are from patchwork-like roads,” says McClure Fisher. “Our users are telling us that councils are out there repairing potholes once they’re reported, but they’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Anyone can report a road defect using Potholes.co.uk, which has contact details for councils across England, Scotland and Wales.