LeasePlan UK research shows 37% of drivers pinpoint potholes as one of the main reasons they don’t enjoy driving. The company is now calling for an infrastructure overhaul to fix the problem for good.
Britain’s roads are becoming a ‘minefield’ for drivers, as the number of potholes increases and reactive patching no longer works. In fact, according to the RAC the UK’s pothole problem has more than doubled over the last ten years, with over one million potholes reported in 2016. LeasePlan’s own research has highlighted that over a third (37%) of drivers consider potholes as one of the main reasons they don’t enjoy driving. However, potholes are not just a simple annoyance for drivers, every year they cause millions of pounds’ worth of damage to vehicles – causing punctures, wheel damage, steering and suspension problems.
Part of the reason why there are so many potholes in the first place is because the roads are aging and insufficient repairs are being made; despite the necessity for safe roads for individuals and commuters alike. Whilst the Government has acknowledged the problem and pledged £45 billion to tackle around 900,000 of them in the Autumn Budget, LeasePlan is today arguing this is not enough.
On the problem Matt Dyer, managing director of LeasePlan UK commented:
The UK has suffered from road congestion and pitted surfaces for decades. Our roads are vital for helping businesses power the country through our challenging economic circumstances; so why should we have to settle for a failing network? The current approach is like putting a plaster over an open wound – it’s not sustainable or fixing the actual issue – that fact our transport infrastructure is in desperate need of an overhaul.
The vehicle rental and leasing industry contributes around £25 billion a year to the UK economy and in 2017, the leasing industry alone accounted for more than half of the number of new cars registered on the road. If we are to encourage an uptake in electric and driverless vehicles, we need the roads to help keep us and our vehicles safe too. This means changing our approach to problems such as potholes which need banishing once and for all.
Although reactive ‘patching’ is essential to keep the network safe and serviceable in the short term, it only prolongs the terminal diagnosis. The only solution is to completely renovate and modernise Britain’s road network, LeasePlan believes.
Before this happens, it is important for drivers to safely avoid potholes, if possible. Unfortunately, this is not always an option. Therefore, LeasePlan UK advises following these steps if drivers have suffered vehicle damage:
- In the first instance, contact your car insurance provider or if it is a leased vehicle contact the accident management provider
- Check the type of road – as it may be that a claim can be made to the relevant council
- Provide details on what and where the damage is
- Take note of the location where the damage took place – the road name or feature which identifies the part of the road you were on
- Remember to also note the date and time when the damage was caused
- Finally, reporting the pothole to the relevant authority will help ensure that it is repaired