The true cost of potholes caused by snow and ice
26th March, 2018
The damage that snow and ice can do to our roads and footpaths is now getting more attention than ever. In what has become an annual event in the media, the post-winter pothole count has reached fever-pitch as the state of Britain’s roads deteriorates.
Recent snow and ice have created millions of new potholes
The recent visits to these shores of the Beast from the East I & II, with their sub-zero temperatures, biting winds, heavy snowfalls and ice, has eroded many of the country’s roads, pavements and car parks to leave them littered with huge potholes.
The Asphalt Industry Alliance has warned that 20% of roads in England and Wales have less than five years’ life before they become unstable. That is the equivalent of 40,000 miles of road.
Pothole funding black hole
It is estimated that there was a £556m funding gap in 2017/18 for local authorities to keep carriageways in reasonable order. Although the Government has pledged £100m more funding to help repair the roads which, it is estimated, will pay for 2m potholes to be filled, it would only cover just 1% of what is needed to tackle the current £9.3bn local roads repair backlog.
Massive compensation payouts for motorists and cyclists
A recent study conducted by cycling charity, Cycling UK, found that over a five year period half of cyclists have been harmed after riding into potholes. It also revealed that, over the last five years, local authorities have spent at least £43.3m dealing with compensation claims and legal costs due to potholes.
Key findings from the Cycling UK survey
- 670 cyclists and 30,893 drivers had their claims accepted
- Motorists received on average £841 per successful claim
- Cyclists received on average just under £11,000 per successful claim
- Nearly £10m spent on legal costs
The high level of compensation for cyclists – 13 times more than drivers – suggests cycling claims are much more likely to include personal injury rather than just property damage.
Potholes damaging the economy as well as motorists and cyclists
Given 670 cyclists had their claims accepted, Cycling UK estimates potholes have cost the economy a further £10.7m over the last five years, once costs for the NHS, police time and lost working hours are considered.
Protect your premises with winter maintenance
If you don’t want to be subject to compensation claims or having a large pothole repair bill as a result of the damage made by winter weather it’s worth taking action ow. We can undertake an inspection to identify the wear and tear the winter weather has had on your premises and can recommend a winter maintenance programme that will ensure that when the snow and ice hit again your premises will be in a much better condition to deal with them. Make sure that your winter maintenance is organised by calling us today on 01728 633900 for a quote tailored to your needs.