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RAC Foundation report on potholes – ADEPT comment

18 January 2019

Mark Stevens, Chair of ADEPT’s Engineering Board said: "The RAC Foundation Report reinforces the fact that there is no agreed national standard for the size of a pothole, an issue that was raised in the 2014 Potholes Review report (the first of many documents generated from the Highway Maintenance Efficiency Programme). With the introduction of the Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure code of practice in 2016, local highway authorities were clearly steered towards following a risk-based approach to highway maintenance. Whilst fixing the most dangerous first is a positive step, the approach means that the development of a consistent view on what constitutes a pothole is even less likely.

"The recent injection of an additional £420m towards highway maintenance by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was much welcomed. However, a longer term, consistently higher level of investment in the local roads network is required to address the estimated £9.3billion road maintenance backlog. Local highway authorities can then make the country’s local roads safer, reduce the risks to road users such as cyclists and reconsider a standard definition of the size of a pothole. Until then, variations across the country will continue and, for those authorities covering large geographic and rural areas, the different timescales for carrying out urgent repairs are unlikely to improve.”