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Leeds firm wants action on problem potholes

Henderson Insurance Brokers in Leeds is calling for urgent action on potholes in response to mounting insurance claims from commercial fleet operators.

The firm is asking business owners in Yorkshire via prominent LinkedIn group The Yorkshire Mafia for their views on the pothole “epidemic”. Company names and opinions will then be submitted to the region’s local authorities in the form of an e-petition.

The call for action comes in the wake of recent severe weather, including flooding and ice, which has only served to increase the size of existing potholes and has led to a rise in their numbers – causing widespread problems for motorists.

Almost two million potholes were reported to councils in England and Wales last year and according to new data from the AA, Yorkshire and the Humber has the second highest number of potholes in the UK. The survey showed that the average number of “poor quality road repairs” spotted by the public in this region had reached 8.5 per mile, suggesting a “patch and mend” attitude to repairs.

Recently the Local Government Association warned that motorists face a pothole catastrophe as budget cuts and the threat of more wintry whether leave many councils struggling to move “beyond simply patching up a deteriorating network”. Council chiefs have warned that they already have a £10 billion backlog of repairs.

Paul Judge, managing director, Henderson Insurance Brokers Leeds, said: “The number and incidence of potholes is sadly according to all evidence on the increase. While the government has pledged additional money to deal with the repairs backlog in its Autumn Statement last year, councils up and down the country are dealing with a multi-billion pound problem.

“We are finding that commercial fleet operators are increasingly submitting insurance claims for damage to their vehicles caused by what are frankly becoming craters and fissures in our roads. The time to act is now, not tomorrow. Local authorities need to prioritise the funds they are being given by government and government needs to plough more funds into councils’ repair budgets, should the need arise.”

According to www.potholes.co.uk, the craters which are appearing are deeper than before. It says the potholes are now four inches deep, compared with three inches two years ago as the problems hit trunk and local roads alike.

Paul added: “The pothole epidemic is the direct result of years of under-investment in our roads by the government. Temporary fixes have just escalated the problem over the years and our highways have now got more holes than the surface of the moon! The money is there to access and councils need to move the pothole problem to the top of their ‘to do’ lists.”

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