Pothole Problems – Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey
According to this year’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey, one in six local roads will need to be repaired within the next five years. Potholes seem to be a problem drivers are facing every day and the report commented that due to underfunding, increased traffic and wetter weathers has led to at least 16% of all local roads reported as being in poor structural condition. However, not only are potholes and roads in disrepair a nuisance, they are also a danger, especially to those riding motorbikes and bicycles.
Lorna Wilson, Head of Fast Track at Fletchers Solicitors, talked about the effects potholes can have on road users, “Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users and, as such, can be seriously injured if their bike hits a pothole and causes them to lose control. At Fletchers Solicitors, we handle many cases where councils have failed to repair or maintain road surfaces. Often we find that the potholes have been reported to the council previously and caused more than one accident. The council has a duty of care to the public to ensure the roads are fit for purpose and their condition does not cause accidents. The standards of the roads are a big concern for motorbike riders and cyclists as they can cause serious and life changing injuries. It is promising that authorities are planning to spend money on repairing and maintaining roads however it won’t be a quick fix and may take years to improve.”
The survey has shown an increase in the number of potholes being filled last year however the number remains incredibly high at 1.7 million. The report also comments on the need to replace the surface layer ‘at regular intervals’ in order to maintain an appropriate level of grip, which is ‘vital for road safety’. Reassessing the future of road surfaces can ensure riders are safely able to use the roads and they remain fit for purpose.