After two successive bad winters, Britain’s minor roads have more potholes than ever before. As a general rule, motorways and trunk roads are generally in reasonable condition, but minor and rural roads can be quite dire, as the picture on the right shows.
This and the road below were selected as Britain’s worst by potholes.co.uk, which is campaigning for Britain’s roads to be given the repairs resurfacing so many of them desperately need.
According to Warranty Direct, which runs potholes.co.uk, the average repair cost for cars with pothole damage (usually suspension damage) is £335. Drivers are paying the price for the government’s lack of funding for the local road network and things could be about to get worse, if a decision by Lambeth Council in London is copied by councils in other areas of the country.
Lambeth Council has increased the minimum size a pothole needs to reach before it is repaired. At present, any potholes measuring more than one inch deep are repaired. Under the new guidelines, however, a pothole will have to reach a wheel-buckling 40mm before Lambeth Council will decide to repair it.
I understand that councils are cash-strapped too, but this really is just a case of transferring the cost of crumbling roads onto drivers, who will have to foot ever-increasing repair bills caused by pothole damage to their cars.
Still, look on the bright side – with potholes that deep, no one will be able to speed…
Does Your Car Deserve A Wheel Alignment?
After the winter we’ve just had, you have probably driven through a fair few potholes – even if you are the most careful of drivers. Assuming you’ve avoided costly suspension or wheel damage, you may still want to check your tyres for uneven wear, tears or bulges.
Tears or bulges mean new tyres but uneven wear probably means your wheels have been knocked out of alignment by all the potholes you’ve driven through.
A full, four wheel laser alignment usually costs £20 or so and can be done at most tyre centres and large garages. It is worth having this done if you have not done for a year or more as it may save you from having to replace your tyres due to uneven wear (remember, to be legal, tyre tread must extend across the central three quarters of the tyre and be at least 1.6mm deep).
If you do decide to get your wheels aligned, make sure you ask for a wheel alignment and check that you will get all four wheels aligned, preferably using a laser alignment system. Having the tracking checked is not the same thing and usually only refers to a quick check of the front wheels.