The second three months of 2018 led to RAC patrols dealing with more pothole-related breakdowns than in any other second quarter since 2015.
Between April and June an analysis of RAC breakdown data showed there were a total of 4,091 call-outs for damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs or distorted wheels – faults which are most likely to be directly attributed to poor quality road surfaces.
This represented 1.8% of all breakdowns suffered by the RAC’s 2.1m individual members*. While this percentage represents a reduction on the first three months of the year (2.3% – 5,540 breakdowns) this fall was not as great as it was between the same periods in 2017 (Q1 2017 2.7% v Q2 2017 1.6%).
The RAC’s most statistically robust assessment of UK road surface conditions – the RAC Pothole Index** which is based on a quarterly rolling analysis of pothole-related breakdowns – also shows a worsening picture in the second quarter of 2018.
The index, which began at a base of 1.00 in 2006 when the RAC started recording data, moved upwards from 2.63 in Q1 of this year to 2.67, making five successive quarters of deterioration, with the index having increased steadily from 2.08 in Q1 2017.
The higher this figure is, the greater the likelihood of an RAC member suffering a breakdown caused by a pothole or other road surface defect and so, potentially, the worse the surface quality of the average UK road. The index, however, remains considerably lower than its peak of 3.5 which occurred in the first three months of 2010.