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Pothole-related breakdowns soar

RAC pothole index finds road quality worsening

The number of breakdowns related to potholes rose by almost a third between April and June this year, compared with the same period last year.

New figures from the RAC showed that 3,565 vehicle owners called the RAC in the second quarter of this year with issues largely attributable to poor road surfaces – compared with just 2,725 over the same period in 2016.

Damage to the vehicles included broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers or distorted wheels.

Claim compensation

If a vehicle has been damaged by a pothole, and that pothole was previously reported to the relevant council or highways authority, you should be entitled to claim compensation.

If you get repairs done, make sure you keep the receipts. You may find there is a specific claims process in place, but the more supporting evidence you can provide the easier it will be to make your claim and negotiate the cost.

Road quality worsening

The RAC’s pothole index, which is based on a 12-month rolling average of breakdown numbers, also indicated that road quality is getting worse after five successive quarters of improvement.

As claiming compensation as a result of damage sustained by a pothole often depends on whether a pothole has already been reported, if you notice the road quality in your area getting worse with more potholes on the roads you should report this to the council or to the relevant highways authority.

The annual road maintenance survey of the Ashphalt Industry Alliance found that local authorities in England and Wales need over £12bn of funding to bring the road network up to scratch.

This is several times more than councils’ entire annual revenue spending on highways and transport, which was £4.4bn in England last year.

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