Potholes damage one in three cars in North Staffordshire
A third of AA members in North Staffordshire have suffered damage to their cars from potholes over the last two years, according to a survey.
Nationally, a third also rated the overall surface condition of their local roads as poor, very poor or terrible in the AA/Populus survey of nearly 23,000 drivers.
The new report comes after a series of articles in The Sentinel highlighted the treacherous conditions of our local roads.
Motorists have been bombarding the city council with complaints about potholes on Stoke-on-Trent’s roads every 30 minutes.
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Latest figures show the authroity repaired 6,859 potholes in 2012 after receiving 8,735 complaints.
That means an average of 27 complaints are made to council call centre staff Monday to Saturday – the equivalent to at least one every half-an-hour.
The council spent £454,694 repairing potholes last year –with the average crater costing £66 to fix.
But drivers have been contacting The Sentinel with photographs of the region’s crumbling roads.
One motorist is putting in a claim after hitting a pothole in Hartshill Road, Stoke, and having to fork out £62 for a new tyre.
Problem areas include Thornley Road, in Burslem, Smithpool Road, in Fenton, and Ronald Street, Longton.
Mechanic Stephen Withington, aged 48, of Newcastle, who jointly owns Castletown Garage, in Liverpool Road, Newcastle, said: “The damage caused by potholes is getting worse and it is costing motorists because an average tyre will set them back £45. The number of potholes around Stoke-on-Trent is just getting silly.”
The most complaints about Stoke-on-Trent’s potholes were lodged in May when 658 drivers complained, followed by 647 in December. Council staff repaired 1,901 potholes in January, 2012.
Elsewhere, Staffordshire County Council repaired 17,881 potholes in 2012 following 6,470 complaints.
Cheshire East Council received 2,000 pothole complaints in the first three weeks of this year.
Delivery driver Andrew Lloyd, of Festival Heights, has lodged a claim against the council after his Ford Focus was damaged.
The 30-year-old said: “There are potholes all over the place.”
In the survey only 10% of those polled rated their local roads very good or excellent, with the lowest ratings going to Scotland and Yorkshire and Humberside.
Drivers in Northern Ireland, Wales and London reported roads to be in best condition, but even there, more than 50% of respondents only rated them as fair.
When asked whether the condition of local roads was better or worse than a year ago, 50% said it was worse with 14% saying much worse. Only 9% said road conditions were better than a year ago and 40% said they were about the same.
In north-east England, 59% said conditions were worse, while those saying the roads had improved were greatest in Wales (13%) and London (12%).
AA members in Scotland were most likely to report pothole damage to their cars, with 44% saying their vehicles had suffered damage.
Neil Greig, the director of policy and research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, blamed the poor road conditions on tight budgets and severe weather.
"The make-do-and-mend approach to potholes means most patches are simply opening up again and again as the weather veers from snow and ice to rain," he said.