The latest report on the state of the UK’s roads by a leading motoring organisation appears to offer little hope for Britain’s long suffering van drivers and road users ongoing battle with the humble pothole. According to the report by the Royal Automobile Club (RAC), many thousands of motorists will find their commercial vehicle insurance inflated because they have had to make a claim due to damage caused by the state of the highway.
Poor roads causing van insurance hikes
Call out patrols have witnessed a 25% increase in breakdown assists caused by the poor state of roads. Patrol workers say potholes are now the cause of more damage and more call outs than ever before, with windscreens, tyres and suspension parts regularly having to be replaced because of accidents caused by the condition of the roads. Not only does this affect van insurance quotes it also affects the cost of breakdown insurance for the innocent parties. It is no secret that most breakdown companies offer discounts for no claims.
Government cuts leading to short term solutions
In an effort to back up the evidence supplied by their patrol workers, the RAC contacted 20 councils from across the UK and questioned them on their policy regarding road repairs. All 20 councils confirmed that the bad winter had seriously affected the conditions of roads in their areas and all also confirmed the situation had been worsened by cuts in their budget from Central Government.
A massive 60% of those questioned said they now employed a short term policy for road repairs which they admitted was not the best approach, but necessary to patch up the most damaged areas. Council funds from a reserve account were used by 10% to supplement their highway budget, and another 10% said they were now using private finance initiatives to try and protect their spending on roads, from Whitehall cuts. In all 40% said that even though their roads were in an appalling state they were actually operating on reduced funding to try and rectify the situation.
Safety issues ignored
The sad fact is that van drivers and motorists in general have been saddled with higher costs in tax, insurance, parking and fuel over the last 12 months and are basically being asked to grin and bear it. Unfortunately no-one feels like laughing when they have suffered a blow-out and lost the best part of a day’s wage in sorting it out. And this highlights another by-product of the neglect of our roads. There are serious road safety issues when potholes are allowed to grow bigger and bigger as our spending on repairs grows smaller and smaller. It is time someone took responsibility for that.