If you’re about to take one of our rental vans or hire cars out on the road, mind the gap…
In 2017, 512,270 potholes were reported to local councils across Britain. That’s a 44% increase in just two years, according to a freedom of information request by the RAC. As their report notes, a number of councils didn’t respond, almost inevitably meaning the figures were actually much higher. And, we should note, the figures relate to 2017, pre-Beast from the East and the lesser version of it we experienced this year.
Are there really more potholes, or simply more reporting of them? Other evidence suggests this really is a physical increase. In December the AA noted that a dip in its financial performance was, amongst other things, down to the increased costs of servicing so many pothole related breakdowns. With more of us dinging our suspension or alloys, the company was forced to farm out work its own patrols couldn’t handle, increasing its costs.
Chancellor Philip Hammond incurred the wrath of teachers everywhere last Budget when he gave more money to pothole repair than education, but as the AA will testify, potholes are a serious business, with the potential to cost businesses far more than a puncture repair. From our customers’ perspective, it’s essential that the vehicles they rent from us enable them to complete the jobs they had planned. And from our perspective, we’ve lost plenty of rental hours and repair costs as a result of picking up the pieces from gaping potholes. Yet more extreme weather events – colder winters and hotter summers – are likely to increase the rate of road decay and pothole production.
Fortunately, technology is fighting back.
We were excited to read this piece in The Independent recently which looked at the work of the Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre. They’re developing an asphalt which contains capsules of ‘asphalt rejuvenators’, tiny pods of oil which, when broken, can help cracked asphalt knit back together, ensuring fewer potholes have the opportunity to develop.
In the meantime, if you’re taking our rental vehicles out onto our pitted roads, best go easy over the biggest holes.
Talk to us about hiring your next car or van with us.