Jun 012016
 

£50 million PotholesThe British Government recently announced the allocation of the first £50 million of a five-year, £250 million ‘pothole fund’ has been welcomed but doesn’t go nearly far enough, says road maintenance campaign website, Potholes.co.uk.

The site, set up in 2007 by automotive specialist, Warranty Direct, campaigning nearly ten years now for a permanent solution to the dilapidated state of the nation’s road, rather than the ‘patch and mend’ mentality currently adopted by local authorities.

March’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) report estimated that there is a 10-year backlog of potholes that need to be fixed, at a cost of £11.8 billion.

With pothole damage to suspension and axle parts on cars costing motorists an average of £350, according to Warranty Direct’s database of 50,000 live policies, Warranty Direct Chief Operating Officer Philip Ward says that the £50 million recently pledged will not bring a solution to the pothole plague.

He said: “If the Government wishes to put more money towards road maintenance, it’s very welcomed to do so. But £50 million won’t allow local authorities to carry out the repairs to the standard road users expect.”

“What this money will do is help them fill in a few potholes with the same temporary solution that has caused the massive backlog that now exists and ultimately the roads will, sadly, still be prone to potholes forming.”

“I feel more for the drivers as they are the ones travelling our road networks and unfortunately the ones who will pay for it in the short to medium term, when repairs are needed for their vehicle and they’re forced to sort out the repair bill.”

Potholes.co.uk offers motorists an outlet to post stories about pothole encounters they have suffered, warn other drivers about dangerous craters and seek advice about how to claim compensation from local authorities, with a comprehensive step-by-step column detailing how to navigate the compensation process.

Potholes.co.uk’s 10-step process to claim compensation for pothole damage

Step 1: Gather evidence

Gather evidence of the pothole as soon as you hit it. As long as it’s completely safe to do so, take photographs, measure the pothole’s width and depth and note anything else about it, such as its position on a blind corner, whether it was hidden from view, etc.

Step 2: Report the pothole

Report the pothole on Potholes.co.uk and to the relevant council or highways agency – being a “good citizen” and helping other motorists will do your case no harm.

About reporting the pothole
Find out who is responsible for the road

 Step 3: Submit a Freedom of Information Act

Submit a Freedom of Information Act to the relevant council or highways agency to find out how often the road is inspected and maintained.

About Freedom of Information requests

 Step 4: Don’t be deterred

If (or when!) your claim gets rejected under section 58 of the Highways Act, don’t panic – this is to be expected and not the end of the story.

What is Section 58 of the Highways Act?

 Step 5: Read the national code

Download the national code of good practice for highway maintenance.

Find the code at http://www.ukroadsliaisongroup.org/roads/code_of_practice.htm

 Step 6: Make your claim

Stay calm at all times – remember when contacting a council that anything you say could be read out in court, so make sure you sound professional as much as you can and never lose your temper.

More information about making your claim

 Step 7: Analyse your council’s practice

Highlight both where your council’s maintenance programme mirrors the code and where it differs – this will help you consider how they may fight your claim.

 Step 8: Consider your case carefully

Consider your case carefully – if the council’s inspection policy mirrors the national code and they’ve followed what they are supposed to, your claim is unlikely to succeed.

Assessing the council or highways agency’s defence

 Step 9: Don’t be hasty

Don’t rush to issue Court proceedings or appoint a solicitor.

 Step 10: Be willing to negotiate

Many people blame local authorities for the state of the UK’s roads – at Potholes.co.uk, we’ve always thought that is not entirely fair. Local councils do what they can to maintain the roads with the meagre road maintenance budgets they are given but it simply has never been an adequate level of funding. That’s not the local councils’ fault – it is more down to central Government to provide a more realistic maintenance budget to pay for better repairs that will last longer and start chipping away at the horrendous backlog that has built up over many years of inadequate maintenance.

Apr 262016
 

potholesA new study of 3-8 year old cars from Warranty Direct reveals the Mercedes Benz R-Class (06-15) and Saab 9-3 (04-12) are the cars most likely to suffer suspension damage. Hyundai’s Santa Fe (06-12) and the Land Rover Discovery 3 (04-10) have the next most susceptible suspension, with 13.9 and 13.3 percent respectively of Warranty Direct customers claiming for axle & suspension damage annually.

Potholes are typically at their most prevalent on Britain’s underinvested road network between January and April, as heavy rainfall undermines the lower structural layers of roads, creating cracks then more potholes, increasing the likelihood of suspension damage.

The recent Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey revealed that local authorities spent a total of £118.4m filling 2,190,026 potholes across England and Wales in the last year, but also paid out an additional £13.5m in compensation claims.

With the average repair bill for pothole damage now £350, Warranty Direct’s database of 50,000 live policies shows that the most vulnerable cars are more than 15 times worse than the most robust models.

At the opposite end of the scale, the Ford S-Max (06-15) and Nissan Qashqai (07-14) share top billing as the cars least likely to be affected by the UK’s pothole-ridden roads; both boast an impressive clean sheet when it comes to model claims relating to axle & suspension damage.

Top 10 cars with the highest % chance of an annual axle & suspension related claim

Number

Make Model Group Year % chance of an axle & suspension related claim annually

1

MERCEDES-BENZ R-Class (06-15) 15.82%

2

SAAB 9-3 (04-12)

15.05%

3

HYUNDAI SANTA FE (06-12) 13.98%

4

LAND ROVER DISCOVERY 3 (04-10)

13.37%

5 MERCEDES-BENZ GL-Class (06-15)

12.61%

6 VAUXHALL ASTRA (04-12)

11.56%

7 LANDROVER RANGE ROVER (02-13)

11.28%

8 BMW X5 (07-13)

11.27%

9 MERCEDES-BENZ E-Class (06-09)

11.17%

10 MERCEDES-BENZ CLS-Class (05-10)

11.15%

 

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “The variation you see in suspension damage from one model to another is remarkable.”

“Potholes are a major factor in causing axle & suspension failure and any vehicle regularly driven over impaired road surfaces or used for commuting over pothole-strewn routes will ultimately incur damage eventually.

“Components such as bushes, track rod ends, drop links, springs and dampers are all susceptible. Visit our Potholes.co.uk site for detailed advice on how best to make a compensation claim for any vehicle damaged by potholes.”

Dec 312015
 

With potholes estimated to cause as many as 1 in 10 mechanical failures on UK roads and costing motorists an estimated £730 million every year, Potholes.co.uk has been created to help you avoid the cost and misery they cause thanks to Warranty Direct.

The website can provide information advising how to make a claim against a local council regarding pothole damage to your car or if you just want to report a poor piece of road. With access to similar stories and related news, Potholes.co.uk aims to help motorists fight back against this road misery.

You can also follow Potholes.co.uk’s Facebook page where the latest stories regarding pothole disasters and triumphs are shared. Here’s a selection of recently shared news stories.

Santa appeals to council over Stone potholes – Staffordshire Newsletter
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Keeping with the recent festive holidays, residents of a potholes riddled lane in Stone have turned to Santa Claus for help in fixing the roads. Mark Willows and his neighbours have been asking Staffordshire County Council to repair the roads to avoid further flooding over the winter period. To raise awareness, a poem sent to the council’s highways team, tells of Santa wondering why his elves have left out the affected lane from his Christmas route.

New £2.5m fund for pothole repaires announced by Lancashire County Council – Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen

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A new £2.5 million pound fund for pothole and pavement repairs was recently announced by Lancashire County Council. The cash, saved out of underspending on other road projects, will be split between the authority’s 12 boroughs.

Pothole road still hasn’t been fixed despite Fife Council admitting work is ‘substandard’ – Dunfermline Press

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A  main route affected by potholes still hasn’t been fixed despite the Fife Council apologising and admitted that the repair work to the road was “substandard.” The council has refused to pay the current contractor assigned to the resurfacing task and discussions have so far stalled. The road is unlikely to be fixed until well in 2016.

To see more stories from the world of potholes, you can follow Potholes.co.uk’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Dec 102015
 

With potholes estimated to cause as many as 1 in 10 mechanical failures on UK roads and costing motorists an estimated £730 million every year, Potholes.co.uk has been created to help you avoid the cost and misery they cause thanks to Warranty Direct.

The website can provide information advising how to make a claim against a local council regarding pothole damage to your car or if you just want to report a poor piece of road. With access to similar stories and related news, Potholes.co.uk aims to help motorists fight back against this road misery.

You can also follow Potholes.co.uk’s Facebook page where the latest stories regarding pothole disasters and triumphs are shared. Here’s a selection of recently shared news stories.

County Council trials new technology for tackling potholes – Harrogate Informer

 

 

 

 

 

With new technology and processes being investigated to help tackle pothole repairs, the Harrogate Informer focuses on one new technology being trialled across the Harrogate district. The Velocity Jet Patcher is designed to fill potholes much faster than conventional methods. The process takes only a couple of minutes for each hole with no excavation, no waste materials and the filled hole ready to drive on immediately. Promising technology at work….

Potholes: the scourge of cyclists returns for the winter – Cycling Weekly

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Winter upon us, Cycling Weekly advises the best course of action to deal with potholes this season. Potholes can prove deadly to cyclists if avoiding them forces them out into the road and being hit by other vehicles. Although it’s hard to predict where a pothole might occur on a cyclist’s travels, there are a few things riders can do to reduce incidents or injuries attributed to potholes.

More than 45,000 potholes repaired across Worcestershire – in just 18 MONTHS – Worchester News

Worcestershire County Council have revealed that they repaired 45,000 potholes in just 18 months. Since April 2014, highway workers have patched around 83 potholes every day. Another 15,000 are due to be completed by next year.

To see more stories from the world of potholes, you can follow Potholes.co.uk’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Oct 152015
 

Potholes_logoWith potholes estimated to cause as many as 1 in 10 mechanical failures on UK roads and costing motorists an estimated £730 million every year, Potholes.co.uk has been created to help you avoid the cost and misery they cause thanks to Warranty Direct.

The website can provide information advising how to make a claim against a local council regarding pothole damage to your car or if you just want to report a poor piece of road. With access to similar stories and related news, Potholes.co.uk aims to help motorists fight back against this road misery.

You can also follow Potholes.co.uk’s Facebook page where the latest stories regarding pothole disasters and triumphs are shared. Here’s a selection of recently shared news stories this past week:

Derby City Council Defends Pothole Fixing Record – Derby Telegraph

 

 

 

 

 

 

Derby City Council has declared that they’re pulling out all the stops to fill potholes across Derby roads. They’re backing up with the claim by announcing that the council has seen an increase of nearly 50% in productivity regarding road resurfacing.

Angus Council declares ‘Victory’ over county potholes – The Courier

 

 

 

 

 

Having set some ambitious targets regarding road maintenance, Angus council are declaring victory against potholes as they edge ever closer to hitting their goals. A proposed review of how potholes are tackled should benefit from this achievement as the winter months approach.

“Wrong” kind of Pothole will not be fixed quickly – Western Morning News

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new trial policy put forward by Devon County Council might throw a spanner in the works when it comes to resurfacing roads affected by Potholes. The “wrong” kind of pothole may be classed as a low priority. Suffice to say, the logistics of this trial policy have not gone down well with residents and politicians in the area.

To see more stories from the world of potholes, you can follow Potholes.co.uk’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.