Lincolnshire mechanic says there has been a ‘sharp increase’ in pothole damage to cars over the past two years

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More and more cars need pothole repairs every year, a Sleaford mechanic said.

Robert Wright, who runs Bridge Auto Services on East Road, Sleaford, said he had noticed a “significant” increase in the number of cars damaged by potholes over the past two winters.

Servicing cars brought within a 25-mile radius of the market town, Mr Wright estimated that repairing potholes now accounts for around 10% of his business.

He told Lincolnshire Live: “There has been a big increase since Christmas when the weather turned cold.

“And there hasn’t been a decrease for two years. Every winter it gets worse.”

Potholes can wear out suspension parts and ball joints, as well as break coil springs, the mechanic said.

He said: “Coil springs can break in freezing cold weather, but we haven’t had that many since Christmas.

“The springs we’re changing are only because of impact, and people will say when they bring it in that they hit a pothole recently.

“A lot of tires are low profile, so the wheel takes the impact and deforms badly and will need to be straightened.

“Hopefully people might not mention hitting a pothole until the next time they walk in, and that’s when you find a broken spring.

“But most people now know they’ve hit one. They’re on pothole alert.”

The cost of repairing potholes can be quite high.

“If it’s just a tire and wheel straightener you’re looking at maybe £200,” he said.

“If you have suspension damage, it can be up to £800 and £900.

“It depends on the brand of the car. A BMW 5 Series will cost more than a Corsa.

“But the inconvenience is the same.”

The mechanic added that the pothole problem is not exclusive to Lincolnshire.

He said: “Just got back from Telford, went for a weekend.

“It’s a national problem.

“I think Lincolnshire is maybe a bit worse because there are a lot of farm vehicles on the roads around the villages, and the farm vehicles aren’t just tractors and trailers anymore.

“They are bigger and heavier.

“We think it’s the worst here, but on some of the roads I’ve been on it’s a nationwide problem.

Mr Wright added that the county council has been ‘reasonably good’ in dealing with potholes.

He said: “The advice has been reasonably good on that I think – once you can get past their website and the ability to fill in the forms.

“They’ve paid many claims – but that begs the question, doesn’t it?

“They would surely be better off fixing the potholes than paying all the claims.”

Sleaford resident Carol Foster, 75, said potholes in the roads contributed to the wear and tear on her car’s wheels.

She said: “We had to buy four new tires for the car because of the potholes.

“It’s wear that we wouldn’t have had if the holes had been repaired.

“You buy a new car to last but the roads are atrocious.

“You bounce around the holes – people think you’re drunk when you try to avoid them.

“They are the bane of my life.”

Lincolnshire Live previously reported that the county council said more than 72,000 potholes would remain unfilled over the next three years due to funding shortfalls.

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