There’s a curse on Greater Manchester’s streets.
Roads in and out of England’s second city are pockmarked with more than 5,600 potholes, new research suggests.
The increase in potholes represents a serious risk of personal injury and car damage.
Using data from fixmystreet.com, the research shows that the total number of potholes across Greater Manchester increased by 6% in the nine months to January 2019.
The worst affected area was Manchester city centre, which saw a 90% increase from 931 to 1,771. Central Manchester was followed by Trafford (683), Bury (681) and Stockport (643).
In order to tackle the pothole problem nationwide, the Department for Transport this month announced proposals that would require utility companies that dig up roads to guarantee the road for five years.
In his Budget speech last year, Chancellor Philip Hammond promised an extra £420m to English councils to deal with potholes and damaged roads.
But the Asphalt Industry Alliance trade association estimates that it would cost £9.3bn to repair all existing potholes on British roads.
Pricey pothole repairs
Potholes can do some serious damage to cars. And pothole damage can be expensive to fix.
Last year, the Beast from the East caused widespread damage to roads. The AA claims that this ‘pothole epidemic’ cost drivers and insurers more than £1m per month in the first four months of 2018.
Hitting a pothole can cause serious problems for your car, including:
- Buckled wheels
- Cracked alloys
- Popped tyres
- Tyre lumps
- Imbalances in tracking and wheel balancing
- Suspension problems
If you hit a large pothole, or think that a pothole has done damage to your car, you should pull over straight away.
Serious pothole damage could make your car unsafe to drive. And checking damage straight away might make it easier to claim for the damage later.
Some damage may not be obvious, but you should watch out for small changes to driving and handling, such as unusual vibrations or tracking issues.
Claiming for pothole damage
If your car has been damaged by a pothole, you may be able to claim for the cost of the repair from the council.
To claim money back from the council, the offending pothole must be on a local road (i.e. not on a main road, main roads are maintained by the Highways Agency) and the council must have been informed about the pothole.
Before you make a claim, you need to collect some evidence. If you have dashcam footage of the incident, great, this will be very useful.
You can also make notes about the pothole, photograph it and get the contact details of anyone who saw the incident.
To make a successful claim, a pothole needs to be at least 40mm deep. That’s the equivalent of two 20p pieces.
Get your car repaired by a trustworthy garage and make sure you keep all the invoices and quotes.