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13 March 2017, 00:00

State of the roads causing misery for motorists

  • Around eight in ten over 50s say the roads are in a bad state

  • Eight out of ten say that road maintenance has got worse

  • Pothole related damage costs £1,600 on average

A Saga Car Insurance poll* of around 10,000 over 50s shows that around eight in ten motorists believe the UK’s roads are in bad state of repair with a similar number saying they have got worse over the last few years.

Saga motorists are experienced drivers and eight out of ten say that roads simply aren’t maintained as well as they used to be.

The worst roads are said to be in Scotland and the North West with 84% of Scottish drivers and 83% of those in the North West saying their roads are in poor condition. Londoners are least likely to say the roads are bad, but this is hardly good news for those responsible for maintaining them as only one in five are happy with the tarmac.

According to the over 50s, here are the top five worst road regions in Britain:

Worst roads

Percentage of those saying roads are in a bad state



North West


South East


South West


East Anglia


Most motorists understand that certain weather conditions and heavy traffic can take their toll on road surfaces but clearly not enough is being to repair the damage and too many are plagued by potholes.

Potholes are not only dangerous for all road users, hitting them can also damage a car’s tyres, axle or suspension, which can be costly to repair. However, Saga Car Insurance customers are covered for this type of accidental damage and in the last 12 months the over 50s insurer has paid out almost £100,000 in claims related to hitting or swerving to avoid potholes**. On average it costs £1,600 to repair damage caused by incidents involving potholes**.

Paul Green from Saga commented: “We know that around nine out of ten over 50s regularly drive*** so they have a great insight into the state of the UK’s roads and they have clearly told us they think not enough is being done to maintain them. Often with potholes it is the hidden damage that can cost drivers dear, it’s well worth getting your car thoroughly checked out to ensure that all damage is repaired as soon as possible.

“We would urge motorists to contact the local council as soon as they see a pothole in order to get them to take action before a driver gets a nasty surprise.”


Notes to editors

*Populus surveyed 9,998 people aged 50 and over online between 17th and 23rd January 2017. Results have been weighted to be representative of all GB adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information visit

**Based on Saga Car Insurance claims data over the last 12 months (February 2016 – February 2017)

***Populus interviewed 10,863 Saga respondents, all aged 50+, online between 22 and 30 August 2016. Results have been weighted to be representative of all GB adults.

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