May 232011
 
  • Some roads “more like assault courses”
  • Call for long-term repair strategy for local roads

potholed roadThe B6343 near Morpeth and Fieldhead Lane, close to Holme, have been named as the worst pothole-strewn roads in Britain by Warranty Direct’s potholes.co.uk campaign website.

The two stretches were highlighted by motorists in an investigation by the website to expose the appalling state of our roads.

Although the Government recently injected a welcome £100m into an emergency pothole road maintenance fund, two harsh winters and long-term under-funding means potholes remain one of the biggest gripes among motorists.

Northumberland’s B6343 was described as having “a huge array of potholes east of Mitford” by Marra, one website user who nominated it. Meanwhile, Fieldhead Lane in West Yorkshire was summed up as “more like an off-road assault course” by tri4west.

The two website users above will each receive a 32” Samsung LCD flat screen TV for their winning submissions.

Nearly 90 per cent of nominations were local rather than motorways or A- and B-roads, bolstering Warranty Direct’s call for a long-term strategy for fixing the local road network.

Visitors to potholes.co.uk nominated over 80 sections of Britain’s 246,000 mile highway network for the ignominious title.

Judge’s Top Five Pothole-Pitted Roads  
B6343, near Morpeth, Northumberland Major road category winner
Fieldhead Lane, close to Holme, West Yorkshire Minor road category winner
Long Mill Lane, Plaxtol, Kent  
Yattendon Road, Basildon, West Berkshire  
Fyfield Road, Amport, Hampshire  

With an average repair cost of £335 for damage done by Britain’s crumbling roads, Warranty Direct estimates that drivers could be forking out nearly £3million every day – or £1 billion a year.

Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct, commented: “To be honest, we could have awarded the honour to tens if not hundreds of stretches of road, but these two particularly stood out for those motorists having to use them daily.

“We handle thousands of axle and suspension claims every year involving damage clearly sustained a result of the long-term deterioration of our roads. We welcomed the additional money in the Budget, but it needs to be a springboard in establishing a five or 10-year plan to revitalise our Third World local road network.”

Mar 072011
 

3rd world countryDrivers could be forking out nearly £3 million* every day – or £1 billion a year – to repair cars damaged by Britain’s crumbling roads, according to Potholes.co.uk.

The road maintenance campaign website, set up by the UK’s leading direct car warranty provider, Warranty Direct, is warning that Britain will have “Third World” roads unless something significant is done.

Potholes.co.uk analysed 150,000 of Warranty Direct’s policies over a three-year period and found that nearly six percent of vehicles suffer axle or suspension damage linked to potholes or road defects each year. The average cost of repair stood at £312 but individual bills were as high as £4,000.

Besides the risk of major mechanical failures, motorists could also end up paying out an average of £277* to replace damaged wheels and burst tyres.

Figures for February 2011 show that 39 percent more potholes were reported on potholes.co.uk than in the same month in 2010.

One such motorist, Mrs Hinks, sustained over £4,000 worth of damage to her vehicle after striking a pothole. She said: “It’s shocking how much damage can be done by a pothole, I was lucky not to be hurt. A driver in a less substantial vehicle than my BMW might not have been so lucky.”

Duncan McClure Fisher, of Warranty Direct, said: “Unless something more is done soon, we’ll be faced with a road network that would be more at home in a Third World country.

“Whether it’s the cumulative effect of continuously driving on bad roads or the sudden jolting of a deep pothole which does the harm, our crumbling roads are costing motorists millions.”

McClure Fisher added: “The recent council injection of £100 million will not solve matters. Councils need to wise up and get creative about how to address the problem.

“Back in December, we predicted that a gloomy combination of a very cold winter, huge underfunding and mediocre repairs to roads could potentially lead to the worst ever pothole season – unfortunately our forecast was largely correct.”

Anyone can report a road defect using Potholes.co.uk, which has contact details for councils across England, Scotland and Wales.