As part of National Pothole Day (15th January) the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) has published an updated compendium of facts and figures behind the UK’s deteriorating local road network together with a range of recommendations to address the issue. The statistics cover the last 12 months and are pulled from a wide range of government and industry sources.

Mike Harper, RSTA chief executive said: “‘Potholes: the vital statistics’ provides the facts and figures that clearly demonstrate the need to invest in a well-maintained local road network.”

Key statistics include the £9.79bn that the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey reports would cost to bring the local road network up to an acceptable standard and the fact that, according to the Federation of Small Businesses, if you combined the depth of all of the potholes in England it would reach 28km – that is 25 times the depth of the Grand Canyon. Pot holes are also potentially dangerous with reporting that one-in-three drivers have had an accident because of a pothole.

RSTA is calling for a number of actions to address the issue of deteriorating local roads. Harper said: “Proper maintenance of the local road network needs long-term, consistent investment if programmes of cost-effective, preventative maintenance rather than expensive short-term patch-up are to be implemented. Intervening at the right time of year, with the right surface treatment, in the right place, would extend the life of existing roads and make road maintenance budgets go much further.”

Specific actions that should be considered include injecting £1.5 billion a year to address the local road maintenance backlog by investing just 2p a litre from the existing fuel duty, providing assured funding settlement that enables planned five-year maintenance programmes and further collaboration between local highway authorities and the supply chain to forward the exchange of best practice and realise potential joint cost efficiencies

‘Potholes: The Vital Statistics’ is available as a free download from: