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A pothole every 170 metres

Published: 18 January 2010

Motorcyclists will face twice the number of potholes they did three years ago following the cold snap, experts have warned.

Successive freezing winters and years of neglect are predicted to have pushed the number of potholes on UK roads to around 1.3 million compared to 800,000 in 2008 and just 600,000 in 2007.

It means thawing roads will leave motorcyclists having to dodge a pothole on average every 170 metres, according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA).

New potholes form during cold snaps because water expands as it freezes, forcing apart cracks in the road surface. They are most likely to appear where roads have already been patched up, according to the AIA.

David Weeks, the Alliance’s Director, said: “We were already fully expecting to see another 25-to-30% increase in 2008.

"So if you take into account the current cold snap, we could be finding that potholes recorded now are comfortably exceeding a million. We wouldn’t be surprised to find the problem has gone up to around 1.3 million.”

He said the Alliance’s latest annual report showed there was a pothole on average every 275 metres of road but that rate could now have increased by up to 60%.

The cost of repairing a single pothole is around £70, leaving councils facing a £91 million bill, according to Weeds.

But he said the money would be better spent on “preventative maintenance” by timely resurfacing of whole roads “instead of patch and repair”.

Get a pothole repaired by reporting it to your local council online here.

Find more help on reporting potholes and a guide to claiming compensation here: www.potholes.co.uk

Send your pothole pictures and stories, and name and shame councils that leave them unrepaired, to steve.farrell@motorcyclenews.com

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