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A 2.2 million pothole plague has spread across the UK as a result of three cold winters and cutbacks in road maintenance.
Now AA patrols with specially equipped vans will be tasked with filling in any potholes they come across when travelling between breakdown jobs.
AA Pothole Assist is a new service following in the footsteps of AA Fuel Assist and AA Battery Assist.
The AA's entry into the road maintenance market is a direct response to concerns raised by members:
The recent AA StreetWatch survey conducted by 2,000 AA members identified potholes as the most serious concern.
An AA/Populus poll of 20,000 members showed that the majority believe that road conditions have deteriorated over the last decade.
AA Insurance has seen a four-fold increase in claims due to pothole damage in the last two years.
AA patrols will be using a revolutionary new solution 'quick seal yellow' to fill potholes quickly without delay to traffic.
The AA has agreed to invest £250,000 in a pilot scheme starting today. Pothole Assist will also be used to promote the AA to all road users as the potholes will be filled with yellow solution and branded 'AA' or 'AA for the Road Ahead'.
If a road suffers more than 20 potholes in a ten metre run the whole road will be resurfaced yellow with 'yellow lines' painted black where appropriate.
Commenting on AA Pothole Assist, Edmund King, AA president said: "Potholes are the number one concern for AA members and with a patrol force of around 2,500 covering some 20 million miles per year, we are in an ideal position to repair the roads.
"As our patrols are already on the roads this initiative is relatively easy for us to implement. The AA quick seal yellow solution also means that the potholes can be safely filled between breakdown jobs.
"We hope that drivers will appreciate our efforts on their behalf when they see a yellow polka dot road ahead. If our members see a yellow brick road they will know the AA has been there first."
AA future technologies strategist, Dr Raif Lopol, who developed the AA yellow quick seal solution, said: "Despite advances in road maintenance products there was no instantaneous filling and sealing tarmac on the market. Our AA yellow quick seal produces smoother roads in record time whilst also promoting the AA brand."
AA quick seal can actually be produced in any colour and the AA would be happy to talk with prospective business partners – national or local – interested in seeing their own brand adorning pothole repairs.
This article was published on 1 April 2011