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  1. ITV Report

Freezing weather will lead to spike in potholes warns motoring experts

  • Click below to watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Graham Stothard

One of our region's MP's has written to the Transport Secretary calling for action to be taken to repair potholes on our roads.

The Essex MP Priti Patel says main roads including the A12 and A120 are particularly badly affected and have taken a battering in the recent freezing weather.

It comes as motoring experts warn it will lead to a further spike in potholes. Initial figures show pothole related breakdowns have already doubled following last week's widespread snow and ice according to the RAC.

Authorities here in the East said they'd spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on compensation for drivers in 2007, including

  • £73,648 in Norfolk
  • £30,469 Suffolk
  • £3,600 Essex
  • £155,461 Hertfordshire
  • £36,303 Cambridgeshire
  • £35,723 Northamptonshire
Credit: ITV News Anglia

The RAC received an average of 218 call outs for pothole related issues - such as damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels - between Sunday and Tuesday. Compared to 104 from February 1 to March 3.

Separate figures published by the Department for Transport show 22 cyclists have been killed and 368 seriously injured where a poor or defective road surface was a factor since 2007.

Credit: ITV News Anglia

While the snow caused serious short-term travel disruption, motorists will sadly be suffering its consequences for months and possibly years to come. Our roads were already in a poor state of repair before the extreme cold weather hit. Siberian weather was the last thing they needed as the freezing conditions wreak havoc with any road surface in bad repair. We fear this spring may see the emergence of almost as many potholes as daffodils.

– RAC spokesman Simon Williams

AA president Edmund King described the figures as a "tragic toll". He called for three months of local authority income from fines for parking, bus lane and yellow box offences to be diverted to road funds as an "emergency measure".

Martin Tett, the Local Government Association's transport spokesman, said: "Councils are fixing a pothole every 19 seconds despite funding pressures.

They want to do more but are trapped in an endless cycle of patching up our deteriorating network.

It would already take £12 billion and more than a decade for councils to clear the current local roads repair backlog."

Credit: ITV News Anglia

"This Government is taking the big decisions for Britain's future and investing a record £23 billion on our roads to improve journeys.

We know road surfaces are a concern for all road users and that is why we are providing local highway authorities in England, with just under £6 billion to help improve the condition of our local highway networks.

We are also giving local authorities a record £296 million through the pothole action fund - that's enough to fix just under 6 million potholes. This includes an additional £46 million as announced in December last year, to help councils repair potholes that may have formed over this winter season.

– A Department for Transport spokesperson