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Saturday, 30 May 2015

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Pothole problems for Cumbria drivers - more vehicles damaged

A BREAKDOWN recovery firm has seen an increase in the number of call-outs due to vehicle damage caused by potholes in South and West Cumbria.

ROUGH RIDE There has been a rise in the number of RAC callouts to vehicles damaged by potholes

But the figures released by the RAC show the rise is well below the national picture.

The RAC was called out 37 times in South and West Cumbria 2013 – up from 28 in 2012, 26 in 2011 and 19 in 2010. The majority of calls in 2013 (29) were for damage to vehicle suspension. However the 32 per cent year-on-year increase was below the national rise of 67 per cent.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: “It won’t come as a surprise to any motorist that potholes were far more prevalent throughout the whole of 2013 than they have been in previous years, but the damage they cause to vehicles is something of a very costly secret.”

A Cumbria County Council spokesman said the authority was investing large sums into maintaining its large road infrastructure. He said: “Cumbria has one of the largest road networks of any English local authority, with nearly 5,000 miles of highways to maintain, serving many scattered rural communities as well as some 40 million visitors to the county.

“We are making a major investment in highways maintenance, investing some £30m in our planned road repair programme in 2013/14, including around £10.5m in 2013/14 on ‘find and fix’ repairs to tackle pothole problems. During this year, the council’s highways teams expect to repair some 40,000 reported road defects.

“Winter weather has a significant impact on the condition of the roads, and the recent severe wet weather has damaged road surfaces.

“For example, after high tides and flooding on the A5087 coast road, the council cleaned up debris, including some 220 tonnes of sand and cobbles from the carriageway, cleaned drainage systems and patched areas of damaged surface between Newbiggin and Rampside.

“The council is spending all its available road maintenance budgets on preventative measures to keep the roads well maintained and fix defects as they occur to keep road users safe.”

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