Political parties urged to combat potholes

Political parties are being urged to prioritise potholes in their manifesto commitments.

A campaign group named the Pothole Partnership called for a limit on temporary road repairs, and for funding to tackle potholes to be accelerated and increased.

It also wants road maintenance funding to be ringfenced and councils to adhere to UK-wide repair and inspection standards.

A graphic showing how a pothole forms
(PA Graphics)

The AA, which is part of the partnership, said potholes are viewed as the most important transport issue by the vast majority of drivers.

It warned that damage to vehicles caused by poor road conditions is at a five-year high, with the problem estimated to cost the economy of England at least £14.4 billion per year.

In October 2023, the Government announced it would provide £8.3 billion of extra funding over 11 years to fix potholes in England.

This was part of the Network North strategy to use money saved by scrapping the planned extension of HS2 north of Birmingham.

AA president Edmund King said: “Politicians please note that all road users are fed up with potholes.

“It is costing drivers a fortune but tragically costing lives for those on two wheels.

“Permanently fixing potholes would be one of the most popular political proposals as it affects everyone and the economy.

“It is also the number one concern for 96% of drivers who want permanent solutions rather than a patchwork approach.”

Analysis of Department for Transport figures by the PA news agency shows 20 cyclists were killed and a further 470 were seriously injured in accidents in England in the 10 years to the end of 2022 where a poor or defective road service was a contributory factor.

Caroline Julian, external affairs director of governing body British Cycling, said: “We know from our members that potholes are a longstanding frustration and concern.

“They have tragic and fatal consequences that cannot be ignored.

“If we’re serious about fulfilling our ambitions to get more people cycling, we simply must ensure that our roads are safe and comfortable for them to ride on, and not the crater-filled carriageways they currently face.”