£1bn pothole bill for motorists



Potholes on Britain's road are continuing to cause misery, with more than eight million vehicles suffering from damage through poor roads in 2012 - one driver every four seconds, according to a Halfords Autocentres study.

Latest figures show that complaints over potholes have almost doubled from a year ago, with councils being notified at a rate of 54 a day in December, a 60 per cent increase on the year's average, says www.fillthathole.org.uk.

And with an average repair bill of £135 for cars damaged by potholes, the British public are collectively forking out more than £1bn on repairs.

Some regions had higher incidences of pothole damage, with drivers from the North East being hit hardest with a £181m bill, closely followed by motorists in the Midlands who pay out around £175m for repairs.

Those areas where drivers are least likely to encounter costly problems are Wales and the East of England where the repair bills for pothole-related damage are £53 million and £58 million respectively - though lower traffic density, rather than better quality of road surface, may be masking the true underlying threat.

Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres said: "Even hitting a small pothole can easily damage wheels, tyres and affect steering alignment but serious suspension damage is becoming a more common occurrence.

"From bent anti-roll bars to damaged shock absorbers, the problems are exacerbated by three factors; the inability of local authorities to keep pace with highway maintenance, an aging vehicle fleet more susceptible to damage as drivers keep cars for longer and component complexity, which drives up the cost of each individual repair."