Without the British government’s promised investment of £500 million per year, there can be a 16% increase in potholes in Britain over the next ten years, according to recent research carried out by the economics consultancy Cebr and Zurich UK.
Drivers are already dodging more than 560,000 potholes on roads, but they can expect to see this to increase to 650,000 by 2030.
Under this scenario, the massive backlog of potholes that has developed since 2006 as well as increasing traffic flows on UK roads will lead to a significant worsening of the pothole situation – the research states.
The number of miles driven on the UK’s roads is going to increase over the next ten years. According to the data provided by the Department for Transport, in 2015, cars drove a total of 226 billion miles on roads in England and Wales. By 2030, this figure could reach 265 billion. Such an increase in traffic will undoubtedly leave its mark on the roads.
Roads connect people and businesses and are of fundamental importance to our economy. – Duncan Buchanan, RHA Policy Director for England and Wales, commented on the study. – “Poorly maintained roads can be dangerous, especially for those on two wheels, and result in damage to vehicles. It is vital for road safety, and the competitiveness and productivity of UK businesses that highway authorities properly maintain our roads.”
Climate change results in fewer potholes
Following one of the worst winters on record in 2010, there were almost 1.1 million potholes reported across the country. Based on Met Office projections for minimum temperatures across the UK, the number of air frost days is set to decline to just 44 in 2030. In 2010, this rose to 72 which means a 39% decline between 2010 and 2030.
£9 billion of government funding is not enough
Based on Office for Budget Responsibilities’ (OBR) and Cebrs investment predictions for the next ten years, the additional funds would serve to reduce the volume of potholes across the country by just over a quarter, explains the study. The research shows that by 2030, almost £9 billion of Government funding would be invested in UK roads. However, even these ambitious spending plans would not be enough to effectively address the problem of potholes faced by UK motorists. With the additional investment, coupled with fewer frost days, British people will hopefully see a more manageable picture than they have got today, but this can only really be leveraged when coupled with effective risk management, concludes the research.