Will We Ever Combat the Pothole Problem?

18th February, 2019

Potholes have become a major cause of concern for road users and the government. The data on pothole menace is worrying.

Nearly 1 million potholes have been reported every year since 2015, according to recent research by The Insurance Emporium. The City of Edinburgh Council recorded the highest number of potholes in the UK recording an average of 73 potholes at every kilometre stretch over the period of January 2015 to April 2018.

Why Potholes are a Cause for Concern?

Potholes can cause severe damage including breakdowns, bodily injuries and death. Cyclists are more vulnerable as they can be thrown off their bike when they hit a pothole unknowingly, which in some cases have had fatal consequences.

RAC findings reveal that the number of vehicles breaking down due to potholes was at a 3-year high during early 2018. The pothole impact data by the RAC for the period ending in October 2018 shows 14,220 damaged suspension springs and shock absorbers, and breakdowns due to distorted wheels. This is the second highest score since 2006 when the RAC first began recording pothole impact information.

About 335 claims of damage and injury involving potholes were made by cyclists during 2017-18, reveals The Insurance Emporium research. Of these claims, 16% were dental and personal injuries while 26% were about damages to the bikes.

Severe UK Winter and Summer Increasing Pothole Problems

Water, weather and road conditions contribute to pothole formation. Factors such as heavy traffic and rough weather cause cracks on the road’s surface through which water seeps in.

This water freezes and expands during cold conditions then melts in warm weather, which causes the road surface to contract. As a result, gaps form up between different sections of the road. Potholes then occur when these gaps are repeatedly exposed to heavy traffic driving over the top of these cracks.

Recent hot summers and harsh winters have increased the number of potholes in England, increasing the risk of vehicle damage and personal injury.

The number of pothole-related complaints has increased by an overwhelming 50% in just 2 years between 2015 and 2017, the RAC states.

The Pothole Index, which is a measurement of UK road conditions, is currently at 2.63. This figure indicates motorists are more than 2.5 times more likely to experience pothole damage to themselves or vehicle than they were 12 years ago.

Steps Taken to Tackle Pothole Problems

A better choice of materials for laying the roads seems to be the only practical long-term solution for minimising the UK’s pothole issue.

For the short-term though, several measures are being taken. An additional £420m over an existing amount of £300m was announced in the last budget for the local councils of England to help them tackle pothole problems.

The Highways England stipulates that pothole repairs on trunk roads and motorways need to be attended to within the earliest time possible to prevent unwanted consequences. In particular, potholes measuring over 150mm in diameter or 40mm in depth, need to be repaired within 24 hours.

The coldest months of January and February are generally the peak periods for potholes in the UK. Spreading awareness among road users on the use of better safety precautions during the peak periods can minimise pothole accidents.

MTS Plant, Your Trusted Partner

MTS Plant can be of assistance in solving the pothole problem with our range of skidsteer attachments, including Bobcat Sweeper and Planer attachments, which make pothole repair easier, faster and efficient. Skidsteer attachments are available for hire at our depots across the country.

When you hire our Bobcat Sweeper or the Bobcat Planer attachment, we also offer the necessary operational training – we offer complete after-market support with all our plant machinery.

Contact the MTS Plant team today to discuss your upcoming project:

Tel: 08000 156 555


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Andy Richardson – Wetherby Tool Hire

We have been working with MTS Plant for just over 12 months now and have found their service and support second to none. Vanessa, Jenny, Matt and the team are fantastic and will always go the extra mile to meet our requirements. We have regularly used MTS Plant for Dumper and Excavator hire throughout this period and have found their range of machinery very reliable & of excellent quality. I would 100% recommend MTS Plant Hire.

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We have used MTS Plant for a number of years and have been constantly impressed by the service provided. We work in a quick-moving industry where our requirements for small machine hire can be at short notice and highly varied. MTS Plant manages to keep us supplied with quality machines along with great customer service. We look forward to driving our business forward knowing that we have the resources to satisfy our customers needs without the high expense of owning our own machines.

John Cassidy – Travis Perkins

MTS has been a great company to cross hire small plant in for our customers. The great thing about MTS is the friendly staff who are very committed to making sure Travis Perkins is a priority customer and will move things around in their daily transport too fit urgent orders in. Myself and my team now use Mts as our first point of call as we have confidence in how the business works from the staff to the machines themselves.

Paul Kinsella – Easy Driveways

MTS has arranged for us at times very short notice the most diverse ranges of hire equipment, even nationwide. We first started using MTS a few years ago now an don’t hesitate to call the well mannered and excellently informed staff, We have experienced difficulties when on hire and the response was second to none, from the delivery drivers to the mechanic’s, the professional advice and service we haven’t matched anywhere in my 32 years in construction.

The branch at Leigh is always ready to accommodate our needs and they do it with a cheerful professional manner every time.

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