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Poorly-maintained roads are dangerous and costly to motorists, warns Warranty Direct

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The UK's poorly-maintained roads are both dangerous and costly to drivers, Warranty Direct has warned.

Despite an allocation of more than £900 million in 2016 to the maintenance of roads in the UK, claims analysis from Warranty Direct and  data from the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey suggests the road network in Britain is still well below standard, says the company.

According to ALARM’s most recent survey, the annual shortfall when it comes to maintaining UK roads is now £730m.

The report also estimated that to ‘catch-up’ on the required maintenance, it would require £12.6 billion and 12 years’ maintenance to clear the backlog.

Warranty Direct says data analysis from more than 15,000 authorised claims shows that 20% of all claims have been for axle and suspension issues, which can often be caused by inadequate road surfaces.

The cost of these claims amounted to £876,690 over the past two years. The most common issues in terms of axle and suspension claims were shock absorbers and springs – components that are most commonly damaged by uneven road surfaces.

Warranty Direct said poor road surfaces are also dangerous. Between 2011 and 2015, it said more than 1,700 incidents were attributed to defective road surfaces, many of which resulted in compensation claims to insurers.

Other automotive parts commonly damaged by poor road surfaces are steering and braking systems, often affected by either sudden steering movements or hard braking to avoid potholes, cracks in the road, or a generally uneven surface.

Steering and braking system failures were a major contributor to Warranty Direct’s claims in the past two years, totalling over £700,000 at an average cost of £407 per repair.

Simon Ackers, CEO of Warranty Direct, said: “Poor road maintenance is clearly still a major issue, causing significant damage to vehicles at considerable cost for today’s motorists."

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  • Philip Hastings - 25/09/2017 23:52

    The major cause of damage is due to poor driving skills: drivers follow too close, and therefore do not see surface problems until it is too late, usually swerving to avoid them. Skilled drivers do not suffer this problem...

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