Breakdowns caused by potholes soar in rain-soaked July reaching 5-year high

The AA said it received 50,079 call outs to vehicles stranded due to faults likely caused by potholes last month.

That is up from 41,790 in July 2022 and is the most for that month since 2018.

Met Office figures suggest last month was the sixth wettest July on record, making potholes harder to spot for drivers.

Jack Cousens, of the AA, said: “July’s rainfall caused more headaches for drivers with tyres, suspensions and steering mechanisms all being damaged as the rain hid the potholes lurking underneath.

“Councils would’ve been hoping for a dry summer so they could get as much repair work carried out before the autumn and winter weather hits.”

He added: “As well as the financial damage, at this time of year we see more cyclists and motorbike riders on the roads, where the damage can sadly be fatal.”

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Common problems caused by potholes include damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels.

The cost of bringing pothole-plagued local roads in England and Wales up to scratch has been estimated at £14billion.

The Government increased its Potholes Fund by £200million to £700million this financial year.

Shaun Davies, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “Decades of reductions in funding from central government to local road repair budgets has left councils facing the biggest ever annual pothole repair backlog.

“In order to support motorists, the Government should take this opportunity to work with councils to develop a long-term, fully-funded programme to catch up with the backlog.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “It’s for local authorities to maintain highways.

“To help them do that we’re investing more than £5billion from 2020-25, with an extra £200million announced at the Budget in March to resurface roads up and down the country.”

He added: “We have also brought in new rules to clamp down on utility companies leaving potholes behind after carrying out street works.”

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