Car driving over tarmac

What is the government doing about the UK’s biggest road problem?

6th Mar, 2024

A lot of drivers use the road for various reasons – we may be using our cars to do the school run, or to make deliveries for work, or to commute, or to visit clients or customers. Some of us even drive for pleasure (imagine that). But whatever the case, all of us are often plagued by the UK’s biggest road problem – potholes.

In the best case scenario, they can give you an unpleasant little bump, perhaps prompting you to apologise to your car. (Yes, we know some of you do it.) In the worst case scenario, they can even cause damage bad enough to cause you to scrap your car. So how bad is the problem, and what is the government doing about it?

Why are potholes so problematic?

For such a small an innocuous thing, potholes have the potential to cause a lot of damage to your car. Even small bumps (if they happen on a frequent enough basis) can really speed up the wear and tear on your car’s undercarriage, exhaust system, and chassis. Wide or deep potholes can cause some quite nasty shocks to your car, and those can lead to tyre punctures, bent rims, misalignment of your wheels, and potentially even damage to your suspension or steering. Plus, they can cause tyre blowouts, which are particularly risky for obvious reasons. So already, you can probably see why potholes are major factors in so many write-offs!

The UK is thought to have more than a million potholes, and by all accounts, in recent years the issue has been getting worse. The RAC says it attended nearly 30,000 pothole-related breakdowns in 2023, up by about 33% when compared to 2022. Even a quick scan of the latest headlines at the time of writing will reveal that drivers are having particular headaches with it up and down the country – including in areas like Suffolk, Edinburgh, and Chorley.

Tackling the pothole problem

Now, you’ll be glad to hear that the government has a number of initiatives in place – it’s been drawing from a £5 billion to tackle the problem up until 2025. In the last few months though, it also announced a further £8.3 billion in funding, in what’s being described as one of the biggest-ever road resurfacing programmes. The aim is to allow local councils to identify what local roads are most in need of repair, and crack on with improvements immediately. (Of course, whether it’ll work that way in practice remains to be seen!)

If it goes well though, it has the potential to make a material difference to drivers’ lives – the RAC thinks it could save individual drivers as much as £440 each in repair costs related to pothole damage. And to provide some transparency about how the funds will be used, councils will be legally required to show exactly how they’re spending.

The head of the AA, Edmund King, has been one prominent figure to welcome the news. According to him: “So far this year the AA has attended more than 450,000 pothole related breakdowns. The damage caused can be a huge financial burden for drivers but is also a major safety risk for those on two wheels. As well as safer roads, eliminating potholes gives confidence to people wanting to cycle and instils pride of place within local communities.”

Now of course, suffering any kind of pothole-related breakdown can be a complete nightmare – but whether it’s this kind of accident that writes off your car, or you’re lucky enough for it to gently putter to a stop, you can always count on us here at Scrap Car Network to make life simple, easy and straightforward as we help you to scrap your car. We provide you with a hassle-free process to get an instant online quote for your vehicle. You can get a free online quote by simply entering your registration and postcode on our website into the fields on our site, and we’ll have your scrap car quote to you in seconds.

So then… curious to find out how much your car is worth?

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