In 2023, potholes caused unprecedented misery for UK drivers, with the AA estimating that repairs may have cost as much as £500m. The problem is expected to worsen due to climate change, as increased wet weather and temperature extremes lead to more damage to road surfaces. According to local government data compiled by campaign group Round Our Way, there were almost 630,000 potholes reported to councils in England, Scotland, and Wales between January and November 2023, marking a five-year high. However, the actual number of potholes is likely to be much higher, as data was only available from 115 out of 208 councils approached. Roger Harding, director of Round Our Way, highlighted the risks that potholes pose to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, attributing the increase in potholes to climate change and budget cuts for repairs. The Local Government Association acknowledged the concerns and called for more funding to address the reported £14bn backlog of road repairs. The AA also reported a five-year high in pothole-related incidents, dealing with 631,852 incidents last year, which cost its customers around £160m in total. The Department for Transport emphasized their efforts to address the issue, stating that they were investing an additional £8.3bn for road improvements and resurfacing. Potholes not only affect drivers but also pose a risk to cyclists and other road users, making it a widespread issue that demands immediate attention.
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