You’re driving down the road minding your own business when suddenly a thud vibrates through your poor car, making you wince.
That’s right, you hit a pothole and you’re now worrying if any damage has been caused to your car!
Unfortunately some potholes just can’t be avoided! Not only are they uncomfortable if you hit one but they can also cause some serious damage to your car. If you car is damaged because of a pothole you can make a claim to your local council, however we aren’t really convinced that local councils care enough about fixing them.
Potholes seem to just pop up out of nowhere but they are actually formed when there is a weak spot in the road. As cars continue driving on the weak spot a hole will start to form and will eventually become a pot hole.
Potholes are also formed by water getting under the road surface via a small crack. The water then freezes causing the road to expand. Once the road thaws a pothole will have been created. This may explain why the number of potholes has increased over the past 12 months as we have experienced what seems like an ever lasting winter.
If you don’t believe how much damage they can cause, an estimated 1 in 5 car mechanical failures on UK roads are the result of hitting a pothole. The average cost of repair for a car damaged by a pothole is said to be around £370.
After these figures were released you would have thought that the condition of British roads would be a priority for local councils due to the high number of complaints. Maybe road conditions would be different if we adopted precious practises used to repair roads such as Turnpike Trusts.
Way back in the 17th century Turnpike trusts were set up as a tax used to repair roads with. Each road had its own turnpike which was situated at a gate at the side of the road, which was only opened once you had paid your fees. The money was mostly used to fix potholes and take good care of the roads, which worked for many years. This worked hundreds of years ago and the principle seems to still work well on modern toll roads.
If you haven’t used a toll road they are mostly immaculate which makes you wonder if the road excise duty which we pay is enough to cover repairs. Surely with the amount of motorists on British roads the government are receiving more than enough to mend simple potholes. Many motorists believe that the money isn’t being used to repair roads and is instead being spent on other things such as speed cameras.
Over the past month around 400 potholes have been tackled by road teams in Staffordshire focusing on places such as Stafford , Cannock and Rugeley .Staffordshire Council’s Head of Highways Operations commented that “Although more potholes have been identified, we are also repairing many more than we did last year, but it is an on-going challenge and I would ask people to bear with us.”
Meanwhile in Shropshire garage owner Dave Alford of Court Autos said: “In two days, we had to replace broken suspension coils on 16 vehicles. That’s a record for us, it’s is unheard of! One of the main reasons appears to be damage caused by cars going over pot holes.”
After this comment it’s no surprise that this year 4,000 potholes were also reported in Staffordshire and its surrounding areas compared to 2,800 the previous year which confirms that they are on the rise, probably with many still left unreported.
On a personal note I have noticed that some of the potholes on my commute have been filled in but they still protrude from the road making it a less than pleasant journey. One of the larger potholes I used to try to avoid has now been repaired, which is good news as prior to fixing this particular piece of weathered road it caused motorists to skid as the surface was so worn! To say it was dangerous was an understatement!
Our conclusion is that the government are making an effort to repair potholes however they should have acted a little quicker. If repairs were made to road surfaces regularly motorists could have avoiding paying for repairs. If roads were maintained regularly it may also save local councils money as they would not have to deal with as many claims from angry motorists.