The government has been urged to act as fed-up drivers have told how potholes on UK roads have left their vehicles with broken suspension, bent wheels and steering alignment issues.
MPs were also told earlier this month that 24 cyclists were fatally injured after hitting potholes or other road surface defects between 2009 and 2018.
Even during the height of lockdown in April when roads were much quieter than normal, the AA assisted motorists by attending 1,500 breakdowns caused by potholes.
MP Huw Merriman, who chairs the Commons Transport Committee which led the inquiry, said he was surprised by the number of breakdowns and accidents caused by defects in the road surface during a time when the roads were so quiet.
He said: “The state of our road network is causing damage to vehicles and bikes and poses a risk of serious injury to those who use them. Our committee’s inquiry called for a long-term funding deal for councils to invest in quality roads. Repeatedly filling in holes is more expensive in the long run and doesn’t work.”
Details of the degree of damage to cars was gathered from an analysis of AA breakdown figures.
The AA president Edmund King said: “The toll of pothole damage on cars is already breath-taking but just imagine what will happen when tens of thousands of people take up the Government’s invitation to travel to the shops and work on bicycles and rented e-scooters during trials.
“Only this week, I complained of a pothole that could easily take out a cyclist, particularly in the dark, but was told by the council it isn’t deep enough to fill. Now, with people back on the road again, we would urge councils to fill potholes while the sun shines.”
A spokesperson from the Department for Transport added: “We know potholes make life a misery for drivers, cyclists and other road users, which is why this Government is spending £2.5 billion over five years to help councils improve their roads – enough to repair around 10 million potholes a year.”