17 May, 2018
In recent months there has been extensive national and local press coverage discussing the state of the highway network and the number potholes. A harsh winter and reducing budgets has taken its toll in some areas. One person in Swindon has even taken to submerging dolls heads in potholes to attract attention to the issue.
The AA have reported that potholes are costing motorists and insurers at least £1m per month, with an estimated 4,200 claims made for damage so far this year. The AA added there were more pothole claims made during the first four months of 2018 than for the whole of last year.
In March, the Transport Secretary announced a further £100 million for local roads badly affected by recent winter weather to help repair potholes. This is on top of the £75 million in government funding already given to councils from the Pothole Action Fund this year, as well as the additional £46 million boost for highways authorities announced just before Christmas. However, the AA wants the government to go even further and is calling on them to ring-fence 2p per litre of current fuel duty to create a £1bn 'pothole fund' for local councils. The AA have launched #FlagitFunditFillit a campaign to highlight to the Government the need to invest in Britain's roads. They are calling on road users to safely photograph potholes and to send the pictures to the responsible highway authority and the Department for Transport via social media.
Highway authorities need to be alert to this campaign and as usual upon notification of a pothole, investigate and where appropriate fill and repair actionable and/ or dangerous potholes.
Whilst all local authorities have procedures in place to enable members of the public to report potholes, local authorities may also consider monitoring Twitter for reports of potholes in their area using #FlagitFunditFillit and remind people via social media and the website of the correct procedure for reporting problematic potholes.