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JCB join new Partnership as pothole damage hit new high

AA President Edmund King OBE pictured with an AA van and a JCB Pothole Pro outside the motoring association’s HQ in Basingstoke
AA President Edmund King OBE pictured with an AA van and a JCB Pothole Pro outside the motoring association’s HQ in Basingstoke

Newly formed Pothole Partnership delivers new five-point plant to central and local government

JCB today joined a new partnership which has been launched by road users and industry to help tackle the scourge of potholes as new figures show pothole damage to vehicles has hit a five-year high.

Research by the AA – released on National Pothole Day – shows that the motoring organization dealt with 631,852 pothole-related incidents in 2023, the highest for five years.


Now the newly formed Pothole Partnership – a coalition representing the interests of drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, and road repairers – has unveiled a new five-point plan to help tackle the issue. The Partnership’s Pothole pledge was sent to central and local government today.

The Pothole Pledge 

  • Permanent: Local authorities to limit the practice of temporary pothole repairs or patches and, where possible, every pothole or patch to be repaired permanently.

  • Precise: All local authorities/contractors to adhere to UK-wide repair and inspection standards, and report annually on the repairs undertaken.

  • Price: Government to demonstrate greater urgency by accelerating and increasing spending of the £8.3 billion pothole funding for England in the first three years – with total clarity on the distribution to local authorities.

  • Provision: Central and local government to guarantee ringfencing of all road maintenance funding to help deliver innovations that enable permanent repairs.

  • Progress: Full transparency from local authorities on their roads repair backlog, categorized by potholes, patching works, and road resurfacing.

According to new figures released by the Pothole Partnership, which has been formed by the AA, the National Motorcyclists Council, British Cycling, IAM RoadSmart, the British Motorcyclists Federation, and manufacturer JCB, last year pothole damage to vehicles cost £474,000,000.

The Partnership has welcomed extra funding for maintenance, including the £8.3 billion from HS2, but wants it ring-fenced and expenditure increased in the early years and used more effectively.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘Last year AA patrols dealt with more than 600,000 pothole-related incidents which on a national scale will have cost drivers almost half a billion pounds. Currently, we often have a vicious circle of: pothole formed; damage caused; pothole patched; pothole reappears with more damage caused – when what we need are more permanent repairs.

‘Potholes are the number one concern for 96% of drivers and can be fatal for those on two wheels, so hopefully pressure from the Pothole Partnership will lead to permanent repairs.’

Ben Rawding, general manager of JCB who make the award-winning JCB Pothole Pro three-in-one pothole repair solution, said: ‘As we mark National Pothole Day, JCB are delighted to be part of the Pothole Partnership, a group committed to fixing Britain’s roads.

‘Tackling the national backlog of potholes properly will involve investment in innovation and new technologies to ensure permanent fixes, not temporary repairs. Britain’s motorists, motorcyclists, and cyclists deserve nothing less.’

Rick Green, chair of the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), said: ‘While an annual National Pothole Day helps to raise awareness of the below-target condition of our vital roads, the challenge of improving the local road network goes beyond simply filling in potholes.

‘We are optimistic that the Government’s recent £8.3 billion commitment to local roads could improve conditions and we agree with the Pothole Partnership’s view that the funding allocation needs to be front-loaded so local highway engineers can also start addressing the backlog of necessary structural repairs now.

‘This upfront investment would then enable local authorities to implement planned preventative maintenance programmes going forward. This would support a lower-carbon, whole-life approach to local highway maintenance, helping to deliver sustained improvements and enhanced network resilience, saving money over the long term and ensuring our local roads are able to support future challenges.’


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