More than two million potholes a year could be left unrepaired on UK roads, even after the announcement of £500 million extra funding a year from HM Treasury to battle the UK’s pothole crisis, according to new research by Citroën UK.
Last year’s 2019 Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) report showed councils in England and Wales were £657 million short on the funds they needed for road maintenance and pothole repairs*. Citroën’s Advanced Comfort® suspension technology with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® has been designed to reduce the impact of road imperfections on ride comfort.
In the 2020 Budget, announced on March 11, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, confirmed a £500 million bonus each year for the next five years to repair potholes across the UK. The Government has pledged to spend £1.5 billion in 2020-2021 on road repairs across the country, with the aim of repairing 50 million potholes in the next five years**.
According to analysis of the 2019 ALARM Survey – which is based on feedback from local authorities across England and Wales – the measures may not be enough. With a £657 million shortfall in annual funding, the new Budget measures could still leave more than two million potholes a year in need of repairs, even after the extra £500 million is added to local council funding across the country***.
The new funding is set to improve journeys for motorists. Since 2013, the 365 local authorities across England and Wales have spent more than £74 million paying drivers compensation for damage caused by potholes****.
Vehicles with worn suspension or old dampers are particularly vulnerable to damage, as these are the key components that absorb the shocks from the road.
Citroën’s Advanced Comfort® suspension technology with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® provides drivers with a superior and safe ride – regardless of the road conditions. To filter out the worst bumps and dips on the road, Citroën has added hydraulic bump stops to its suspension design – for rebound and compression – allowing the suspension to better adapt to shocks from the road surface.
Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® absorb and reduce the impact of a pothole being felt inside the cabin, with the second hydraulic stop, rebound is also limited giving a smoother ride. Progressive Hydraulic Cushions® technology is fitted, as standard, on Citroën’s flagship model, C5 Aircross SUV, as well as C4 Cactus, the brand’s family hatchback.
Souad Wrixen, Marketing Director, Citroën UK, said: “The state of the roads in England and Wales is no secret to anyone, so people up and down the country will welcome this latest announcement of a significant increase in the funding to repair our roads.
“For when you do encounter broken roads however, as a brand, we are committed to providing our customers with the ultimate in-cabin comfort experience and this is where Citroën’s Advanced Comfort® technology comes in, to help take the edge off the worst of the UK’s roads.”
Last year, Citroën UK teamed up with Surrey County Council to smooth over 200 potholes in the county. The rationale behind the initiative was to give drivers of all vehicle types a taste of the comfort experienced up and down the UK by owners of Citroën C4 Cactus Hatch and C5 Aircross SUV.
To find out more about Citroën and its Advanced Comfort® programme, please visit: www.citroen.co.uk
*** According to the 2019 ALARM Survey, the average unplanned repair cost of a pothole is £65.33. Even after the extra £500 million a year in added spending, local authorities could face an annual shortfall of £157 million in road maintenance budgets, which could leave 2,403,183 unrepaired potholes on English and Welsh roads.
****Citroën analysed each of the Asphalt Industry Alliance – Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) surveys since 2013 to calculate the total number of potholes filled in England and Wales, as well as money spent on repairs, and compensation.