Potholes surge is 'a serious hazard'

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The Independent Online

There has been a 90% increase in the number of potholes on UK roads since the severe winter weather struck in December, according to a survey today.

As many as 72% of motorists also said potholes had affected their driving in the last 12 months, the poll by insurance company More Than found.

A total of 33% of the 1,478 drivers questioned said potholes had caused them to brake heavily, while more than 30% had had to swerve into another lane.

Eight percent claimed to have driven into the path of oncoming traffic to avoid a pothole, while just under 4% had swerved on to pavements.

The survey also revealed that more than 16% of drivers had damaged their cars by hitting a pothole and that around 8% had had a crash or a near-miss.

More Than director Peter Markey said: "December was the coldest experienced in the UK since records began, which, unsurprisingly, has heavily impacted our roads.

"Drivers across the country are now facing a serious hazard to their journeys, with the average driver saying they have to dodge around six potholes every day."

He went on: "We're extremely concerned at the measures motorists are taking to avoid potholes.

"In areas where potholes are known, drivers should slow down to avoid having to take evasive action at the last minute. Potholes should also be reported to the local council so they are made aware of the problem."