The UK’s ongoing headache with potholes

August 10, 2017

Potholes are a problem that the majority of drivers are aware of – a headache for anyone on the roads. According to the organisation’s figures, the RAC dealt with over 6,500 breakdown jobs between January and March 2017 which were likely attributable to poor road surfaces. The last time that so many pothole-related breakdowns were recorded in a three-month period was in the first quarter of 2015 (almost 6,900 breakdowns were recorded then). However, in the early months of 2015, the country was subjected to more days of frost and rainfall when compared to the first three months of 2017, when the nation experienced mild and moderately dry conditions.

David Bizley, a chief engineer at the RAC, commented: “Our figures sadly show a surprising and unwelcome first quarter rise in the number of breakdowns where the poor quality of the road surface was a major factor. We had expected a figure no worse than that recorded in the first quarter of 2016 (4,026) and it is very concerning that the roads, strangely, appear to have deteriorated in a mild, comparatively dry winter.”

With breakdown jobs on the rise as a result of poor road conditions, this can cause problems for tradesmen who require their vehicles to make a living. Plumbers and electricians need their vans to get from job to job – if they face a breakdown due to the pothole issue on the UK roads, they could lose out on several days of income. 

With tradesmen at risk of losing out on their income, just how bad are the UK roads? VW service provider Inchcape Volkswagen, which offers thorough after sales services, MOTs and repairs to solve issues such as wheel misalignment and suspension damage, explores…


Pothole hotspots

The following table is the top ten places of a league table of highway authorities that has compiled. It is based on the number of road hazards which were reported to them:


This is how the top ten places of’s league table looks when ranked on open reports though:



Structural road condition percentage split in England

  • Percentage of roads across England in good condition (i.e. they have 15 years or more residual life remaining) — 53 per cent.
  • Percentage of roads across England in adequate condition (i.e. they have between five and 15 years’ residual life remaining) — 30 per cent.
  • Percentage of roads across England in poor condition (i.e. they have less than five years’ residual life remaining) — 17 per cent.


*RAC data reported on at


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