RAC publishes a guide to the great British pothole

RAC publishes a guide to the great British pothole
RAC publishes a guide to the great British pothole

Potholes and the damage they cause to our vehicles are a growing problem on Britain’s roads.

The latest report from the RAC showed that its patrols attended 11 per cent more breakdowns in the last quarter of 2017 that could be attributed to potholes than in the same period in 2016.

Its crews dealt with a total of 2,830 such breakdowns between October and December 2017 compared with 2,547 in the same quarter of 2016.

At the time the RAC warned the state of the country’s road hung in the balance, with the potential for a further sharp rise in the number of potholes by the spring if the weather was particularly wet or cold, as it has been.

Read our guide to claiming compensation for pothole damage

“Drivers contribute in excess of £40bn in motoring taxation a year and many feel they should not have to endure substandard roads as a result”

Simon Williams, RAC

Now, to mark National Pothole Day and to drive home the message that urgent action is needed, the motoring group has teamed up with campaigner Mr Pothole (aka. Mark Morrell) to produce a tongue-in-cheek “guide” to our varied road defects.

The RAC Guide to the Great British Pothole and Other Road Surface Defects lists the different types of holes, such as the Alcatraz and the Sniper along with helpful observations about their effect on the roads and drivers.


While it looks like a bit of fun, the RAC says the guide, has a serious side: the aim is to encourage more road users to report potholes and surface defects so that highways authorities can fix them. Potholes and other road surface defects can be reported on the RAC website at www.rac.co.uk/potholes.

Worse than ever

Mark Morrell said: “I’ve been campaigning about the state of our roads for five years, but in all that time I can’t remember them ever being worse. We all know local authorities are cash-strapped but they also have a duty to provide road surfaces that are fit for purpose which many sadly aren’t. I hope this guide through a little humour might help to focus minds as the state of our roads is truly becoming a national embarrassment. There is, of course, a risk that we’ll become as obsessed with potholes as we are with the weather.”

The RAC’s Simon Williams added: “Potholes are without doubt a menace for drivers, and indeed for all road users, as they create a totally unnecessary road safety danger as well as costing motorists thousands of pounds in expensive repairs to their vehicles. Our own estimates put the cost to drivers at around £100m a year.

“Behind The RAC Guide to the Great British Pothole and Other Road Surface Defects is a serious message to the Government: give local authorities the certainty of sufficient ring-fenced, long-term funding to enable them to bring all of the UK’s roads up to a standard that is fit-for purpose.

“Drivers contribute in excess of £40bn in motoring taxation a year and many feel they should not have to endure substandard roads as a result.”

The Asphalt Industry Alliance has estimated the one-off cost of fixing the UK’s roads to be £12 billion.

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