Despite the country being in various stages of lockdown from April to the end of June in its fight against the coronavirus, RAC patrols still had to go to the rescue of 1,766 drivers whose vehicles had fallen foul of potholes.

While overall motor traffic volumes were down by as much 60% in the second quarter of 2020 according to government data, pothole-related call-outs during this period still made up 1.1% of all breakdowns attended by the RAC – the same proportion as were attended in the second quarter of 2019, perhaps indicating that road surface quality has not significantly improved.

In contrast to the first quarter of the year when RAC patrols went to the aid of 3,426 drivers who suffered damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs or distorted wheels (equal to 1.6% of all breakdowns), the drop in the number of pothole breakdowns between April and June is, however, significant.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “On the surface, these statistics appear encouraging because they make it seem as though the quality of our roads hasn’t worsened, but when you consider how few vehicles were on the road, they are a real cause for concern.

“We would have hoped to have seen a far bigger drop in the share of pothole-related breakdowns than we would do normally at this time of year, but instead it was just the same as usual.”