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Private motorists and fleets hit with £684m pothole repair bill

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Pothole damage resulted in repair bills totalling £684million last year, according to research from Kwik Fit.

Across the country, 6.3million drivers suffered damage from hitting potholes in their car, with motorists having to pay out an average of £108.60 for repairs to tyres, wheels, suspension, exhausts or other bodywork.

The vast majority of this financial burden is falling on motorists – the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey, also published today, reveals that only £13.5m has been paid out in compensation in England and Wales, just 2.1% of the total cost of damage.

Hitting a pothole is most likely to have caused damage in Yorkshire & Humber and London, where over a third (37% and 35% respectively) of drivers hitting a pothole had to make repairs.  Welsh drivers were most likely to be financially unscathed from the impact of a pothole, although even here, 17% faced repair bills.

Kwik Fit found that collectively, the greatest financial impact has been on drivers in the South East, who have had to pay a whopping £108,149,130 for repairs caused by potholes, followed by drivers in London, with the capital’s roads causing £91,368,450 worth of damage.

Per individual driver, the costliest damage was suffered in the east of England, where drivers had to pay an average of £163.68, nearly three times as much as drivers in Wales, where the average repair bill was £61.83. Welsh drivers have collectively faced the lowest bill of all regions at £12.4million, less than half the cost to drivers in the north east of England, the second lowest region.

2015-16 saw the wettest November-January period on record, and surface water has been a significant factor in many drivers hitting potholes.  31% of motorists who hit a pothole in the last twelve months say they did so because it was hidden by water and they thought it was just a puddle.  

Kwik Fit found that nearly half (46%) of those hitting a pothole said they would have risked colliding with other traffic if they had swerved around it, while 4% of those hitting a pothole were honest enough to admit that they were driving too fast, and couldn’t stop in time.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “We all understand that council budgets are stretched right across the country, but this research shows the financial burden being placed upon individual motorists.  And that’s purely the repair bill - it doesn’t take into account the inconvenience to people in having their cars off the road for repairs. 

“One pothole can cause misery for countless motorists, so it’s vital that local authorities make it as easy as possible for people to report the presence of a pothole.  But we would also encourage drivers to do their bit by reporting the ones they see and not relying on others to do it.

“Fortunately not everyone who hits a pothole suffers damage, but alloy wheels and low profile tyres make our cars more vulnerable to costly repairs when we do. 

“Sometimes damage won’t appear obvious immediately, so we encourage anyone who has hit a pothole to keep checking their tyres and wheels in the days afterwards.”

 

Region

Number of drivers suffering pothole  damage

Average cost of repairing damage

Total cost of repairs for all drivers

South East England

941,000

£114.93

£108,149,130

London

733,000

£124.65

£91,368,450

Yorks & Humber

720,000

£120.00

£86,400,000

South West England

721,000

£119.01

£85,806,210

Eastern England

457,000

£163.68

£74,801,760

North West England

687,000

£87.01

£59,775,870

Scotland

521,000

£109.02

£56,799,420

West Midlands

609,000

£87.59

£53,342,310

East Midlands

365,000

£86.33

£31,510,450

North East England

343,000

£72.66

£24,922,380

Wales

201,000

£61.83

£12,427,830

Great Britain

6,298,000

£108.60

£683,962,800

 

 

 

 


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