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.

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.

Sep 102015
 

Potholes_logo

 

 

 

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 this past week:

Anglesey Council Insurance Payouts – BBC News

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Insurance pay-outs from Anglesey council in North West Wales have almost cost £800,000 over the past five years. 311 insurance claims have been paid out and with another 100 still unsettled and £1.2m reserved to cover potential costs.

CTC warns Britain’s dilapidated roads are costing lives – The Telegraph

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Reported by The Telegraph, the national cycling charity CTC have suggested an increase in figures related to cyclists being killed on British roads is potentially down to local authorities failing to repair potholes.

Port of Liverpool £1.7m resurfacing project begins – Liverpool Echo

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£1.7m worth of work has begun on a major resurfacing project on one of Liverpool’s main roads. A two and a half mile stretch, covering nearly 60,000 square meters will be resurfaced. The work is set to be carried out up to February 2016.

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

Mar 222008
 

3rd world countryAlmost a fifth of all cars could be on the road with their drivers unaware of “potentially dangerous”, and costly, damage caused by potholes, according to leading independent mechanical breakdown insurer, Warranty Direct.

With the average motorist suffering a mechanical failure once every three years*, six million vehicles – nearly 19 percent of the cars on the road** – could have pothole-related damage that may not be immediately apparent to the driver.

“An increasing number of motorists are only discovering the kind of faults directly attributable to poor roads during an annual service or MoT,” says Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct. “That’s an alarming state of affairs given the potential danger of failures like wheel bearings, tyres and steering racks.”

Every year, around 60 percent of all claims processed by the firm relate to suspension and axle damage consistent with that caused by Britain’s rutted, and poorly-maintained, roads.

The Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance report states that there is a shortfall of £1 billion to bring the country’s roads up to standard. Last year, Warranty Direct set up the website www.Potholes.co.uk to campaign for better road maintenance, and give drivers advice on how to claim compensation from local authorities.

One car owner from the Epping Forest area told Potholes.co.uk that, having taken his car to a garage for unrelated work, he was told that one of his rear wheels had pothole-consistent damage that made his car unroadworthy.

Without proof of where and when the damage was caused, he had to fork out £535 for a new wheel, bearing kit and holding arm without being able to claim compensation from his local council.

Warranty Direct warns that components typically damaged by potholes include:

* Shock absorbers

* Suspension mountings

* Upper and lower wishbones

* Bushes

* Coil springs

* Wheel bearings

* Hub assembly

* Anti roll bar

* Anti roll bar links

* Steering rack

* Track rod ends

* Tyres

* Road wheels

* Suspension arms

Warranty Direct pays for repairs to faults discovered during regular servicing and MoTs as part of its market leading mechanical breakdown insurance policy.

Feb 222008
 

potholes £100 millionDamage caused by potholes to the UK’s 33 million vehicles could have increased by nearly 50% last month, as January’s chillier temperatures kicked in, according to the latest figures from Warranty Direct.

The number of suspension or axle damage claims made on Warranty Direct’s 30,000 live policies leapt by 46 percent between December 2007 and January 2008. If that was replicated across the country more than 110,000 vehicles will have suffered pothole related wheel, axle or suspension damage during the coldest month of the year*.

Yet, despite the predictable deterioration of roads in the cold weather, Warranty Direct (www.warrantydirect.co.uk) warns motorists to brace themselves for just as high a chance of suspension or axle faults in summer.

Winter’s heavy, prolonged rain and freezing temperatures generally causes more potholes to open up, as water gets into the seams of the road surface.  When rainwater freezes and expands, it widens the crack that develops, while the constant pummelling of car tyres only hastens the pothole’s creation.

Meanwhile, in summer’s warmer temperatures, the UV rays that cause the oxidisation of the bitumen binder in the road are at their most destructive, causing the materials in the surface to lose their grip and delaminate.

As a result, data from Warranty Direct shows that July and August have regularly recorded the same level of suspension damage as the month of January.

“Most people would assume, quite rightly, that road surfaces are affected worst by winter weather,” said Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher. “But this shows that motorists must be just as vigilant against potholed and poorly-maintained roads in summer.”

Warranty Direct has campaigned for years for the Government to change the ‘patch and mend’ mentality that has left a £1 billion shortfall in the road maintenance budget.  The state of the UK’s roads costs the nation’s motorists an average bill of £320 million every year.

Visit www.potholes.co.uk for further information.