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.

Mar 022010

hi-vis potholesPotholes on Britain’s roads could be much easier to spot in future, thanks to a design idea created by students in Italy.

The initiative was uncovered by road maintenance campaign website, Potholes.co.uk, as it continues its efforts to improve the state of the UK’s roads.

Domenico Diego and Cristina Corradini have designed the “Street Safe Initiative,” which comprises a brightly-coloured layer of asphalt a few inches beneath the surface of the road, which becomes visible when the road surface breaks up, making potholes easier to see and avoid.

The unique design will be trialled later this year in Rho, a small town close to Milan, to determine if the project is viable and cost effective, after which Diego plans to market the product across Europe.

Milan Polytechnic student Diego said: “We have compared the road surface to the human skin – when we are wounded, we start to bleed. So our idea is to put a layer of yellow asphalt beneath the tarmac, which appears and creates a high chromatic contrast that is visible from a distance.

“This way, the potholes are signalled as they appear and road users have enough time to react safely.”

Duncan McClure Fisher, Managing Director of Potholes.co.uk, said: “This is an innovative way to make potholes more visible to road users and to help reduce the damage caused to vehicles. We’re all for pothole solutions that protect the motorist from potential car damage or personal injury, but the solution is not entirely practical and it doesn’t tackle the real issue of preventing potholes in the first place.”

The trial in Italy will help Diego evaluate the cost implications of his design and its production across Europe.

Mike Conway, Managing Director of highway maintenance and construction firm, FM Conway, said: “It’s a novel idea but it’s not the right solution for the UK right now. To make layers of tarmac stick together we use a bituminous coating that acts as a glue and you’d have to go right back to the manufacturing stage and work out how to make it bright yellow.

“We should be looking at how to reduce costs by doing the job right in the first place, rather than creating expensive solutions that only have an effect once the pothole is already there.”

Jan 052010

potholed roadMotorists are being warned about the threat of ‘invisible’ potholes after a rise in accidents.

Road maintenance campaign website, Potholes.co.uk, reports an increase in drivers failing to notice water-filled potholes until it was too late – leaving many counting the cost of the damage to their vehicles.

The problem is increased by the combined result of the recent wet and wintry weather conditions and longer hours of darkness during the winter.

“The icy conditions over Christmas and the New Year have created new potholes across the country and motorists need to watch out,” said Duncan McClure Fisher, of Warranty Direct, which set up the Potholes.co.uk site. “Treacherous ice and snow may be at the forefront of drivers’ minds as the main hazard, but potholes are another danger they need to be aware of.”

Potholes.co.uk user, Deborah Hill, from Durham, caused £290 worth of damage when she hit a pothole which had filled with rain water.

Ms Hill said: “The noise was horrendous when I hit the hole, it nearly knocked my teeth out. I had to pull in because the car felt strange. The wheel had gouges round the rim and my local garage revealed that it had knocked the tracking out completely and I had to replace the wheel.”

Experts say there has been a 65 percent rise in defects on English roads alone during the past decade, with the shortfall in funding for repairs running at an estimated £1.6bn*.

Potholes.co.uk was set up by leading automotive warranty provider, Warranty Direct, and revealed this year that the UK’s 30 million motorists pay £1 million a day repairing damage done by potholes, with the average repair bill amounting to £240.

The UK has been lashed by record rainfall, heavy snow and icy weather recently. As the temperature continues to drop below zero, the ‘freeze and thaw’ effect that sees expanding rainwater crack the road will worsen matters further.

Potholes.co.uk offers advice on how to make a compensation claim from local councils should your vehicle be damaged by a pothole and allows drivers to pinpoint pothole blackspots.

For the latest news and advice, or to report a pothole, visit www.potholes.co.uk.

Case Study 1

Simon Smith, an IT Consultant from Glasgow.

Simon was driving along Morven Road in Bearsden one night when his BMW 320D Sport hit a pothole that was filled was water and was not visible. He had a sudden jolt when he hit the pothole and not only damaged his nearside front and rear wheel, but caused him great inconvenience and several hundred pounds.

“It’s an outrage, BMW had to collect the car as it was undriveable and it took three days to get the car back. I couldn’t see the potholes as it was dark and filled with water. East Dunbartonshire Council denied the issue of potholes despite numerous complaints from me and other road users. It is such an unnecessary cost I’ve had to endure.”

Case Study 2

Mick Render, from County Durham

Mick was heading home from work one evening, along the B1628 from Morrison Road Industrial Estate in County Durham and hit a well-hidden pothole that caused considerable damage to his vehicle. His nearside rear wheel was damaged and it was such a jolt it even broke his satnav, throwing it out of its cradle.

“My passenger wheel made such a loud bang and my satnav jumped right off the windscreen, hit my gear lever and broke. It was raining heavily and I just couldn’t see the pothole for the water. I tried my best to find out how to get the pothole fixed so nobody else could be injured or incur damage. Apparently, I gave the council poor information which just wasn’t true; they just didn’t want to accept responsibility for the damage and pay out.”

Case Study 3

Deborah Hill from County Durham

Deborah was travelling along South Road in County Durham when she hit a concealed deep pothole. It was raining very heavily that day, visibility was poor and the road was covered in water. She had just put a brand new set of wheels and tyres on her Astra, which were a present for her birthday. The pothole was just left of the white lines, so even if it had been visible it would have been hard to avoid without swerving.

“The noise was horrendous when I hit the pothole, nearly knocking my teeth out. I had to pull in a little further up the road as my car felt strange to drive. I noticed my wheel had gouges round the polished rim. I had my car checked out by my local garage when I got home which revealed that I had damaged the trackrod, knocking my tracking completely out and damaging my wheel. I had to pay £290 to repair damage that wasn’t even my fault.

“I was told by Durham County Council that my claim was unsuccessful as they were not liable for the damage. I was furious and pursued the claim further only to be told that I should contact Northumbrian Water because the pothole was caused as a result of Balfour Beatty’s repair to the road.

“What a cop out! I pay my council tax and road tax and then I have to foot the bill and get nothing back. I have written to Northumbrian Water and heard nothing to this day; I am just putting it behind me now as it really makes me angry, upset and frustrated that these councils get away with murder. Why should I be out of pocket for something that is not my fault? “

Mar 032009

potholesThis year’s cold weather has caused a sharp increase in the number of cars being damaged by potholes, according to Warranty Direct.

Following the coldest start to winter in more than 30 years and temperatures that dropped as low as minus 18,* the UK’s leading direct consumer warranty provider had already recorded a 13 percent year-on-year increase in pothole-related axle and suspension damage in January.

With the wintry weather experienced across the UK during the first two weeks of February, that figure is expected to rise dramatically once claims roll in for damage done by rutted and potholed roads.

The “freeze and thaw” effect accelerates road surface weathering and the creation of more potholes. When the temperature drops, rainwater, which has found its way into cracks in the tarmac, expands and breaks up the bitumen. With frost on half the days in December, this will have been happening on a daily basis*.

“The problem is only going to get worse over the next week or so,” warns Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct, in response to the worst snowfall to hit Britain in 18 years.

“With a £1 billion shortfall in road maintenance budgets across the country**, local councils will have their work cut out repairing pothole damaged roads”, he says. “It’s a surefire bet that the number of claims we see will rise.”

Warranty Direct’s average claim for repairs to suspension damaged by potholes is £240, with the most expensive claim in 2008 costing £2710.

Anyone who spots a pothole can find details of how to report it to their local council through www.potholes.co.uk. The website also gives advice on how to claim compensation if your car has been damaged by poorly maintained roads.

Jun 132007

RoadsOnline highway maintenance campaigner, Potholes.co.uk, has welcomed the government’s endorsement of a new road , but warns that the scourge of potholes will not suddenly disappear as a result.

The Highways Agency this week agreed to start using an asphalt preservative, designed by road maintenance experts ASI Solutions to work as an anti-ageing product to stop the condition of road surfaces across the UK deteriorating any further.

But Potholes.co.uk spokesperson, Amanda Allen, says this will merely avoid things getting any worse, rather than making things better.

“On roads where damage already exists, a preservative is not going to make any difference,” she explained. “The new product will be great for safeguarding undamaged roads against falling into disrepair, but the government has a 10-year backlog of repairs to catch up on, and the ‘patch and mend’ mentality that currently exists as far as highway maintenance is concerned still needs to be changed.”

This year’s ALARM report on highway maintenance and repair revealed that £33 million was spent on filling 589,000 potholes in the last 12 months*. This compares with an estimated bill of £320 million stumped up by the UK’s motorists to repair vehicles damaged by potholes according to research by independent warranty provider, Warranty Direct**.