Potholes

Plummeting road condition leaves drivers deeper in trouble

Plummeting road condition leaves drivers deeper in trouble

Plummeting road condition leaves drivers deeper in trouble

Overall road condition in the UK has plummeted over the winter, a survey responded to by 23,911 AA members has uncovered. While 29% of respondents reported their local roads in a terrible condition in October 2013, that had risen to 40% by March 2014.

Through its Streetwatch survey programme, the AA has revealed that while 18% of the panel reported their local roads in excellent condition in October 2013 this had fallen to 11% by March 2014.

Main roads fared no better with 34% rating them as terrible compared to 24% last October and those rating them excellent fell from 20% in October to 13% now.

Trunk roads did not escape the impact of the very wet winter with a decline of 10% rating their condition as excellent between October and now.

Motorways too saw satisfaction fall with 41% rating their condition as fair before the winter compared to only a third (33%) now.

Britain’s roads are ill-prepared for the economic recovery and unfit for purpose for many road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists

Edmund King AA President

Ill-prepared for the economic recovery

Edmund King AA President says: “Our new data, along with the Alarm Survey, shows that Britain’s roads are ill-prepared for the economic recovery and unfit for purpose for many road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists.

“It is unacceptable that each winter, whether it is frost or rain, our roads are crumbling and give way too easily.  Bad surfaces with millions of potholes can cause death and injury especially to those on two wheels and lead to expensive damage and insurance claims.

Sticking plaster

“Government emergency handouts like those recently for pothole repairs are welcome but are a sticking plaster rather than a cure that will properly repair our roads for the future.  We must ensure that our politicians recognise the crisis as we come up to local and general elections.“

Insurance claims

The dire state of many UK roads has manifested itself in insurance claims processed by the AA’s car insurance arm.

Claims for pothole-related damage to cars have risen five-fold in early 2014 compared with the end of 2013. Insurers are taking an average of 173 insurance claims per week, compared with 33 per week over November and December last year, suggesting that the extreme weather has left the roads in a pretty poor state.


AA Streetwatch road condition surveys: October 2013 versus March 2014. Panel size - 23,911 AA member responses.

3 April 2014