Motorway breakdowns in England hit a five-year high
Motorway breakdowns in England have hit a five-year high to surpass 200,000 incidents last year according to data from Highways England.
Motorway breakdown levels increased by 15 percent between 2017/18 and 2018/19 as reported incidents rose up to 224,225. The sudden climb was the steepest rise in breakdown incidents over the past five years after previous results showed minimal movements.
Breakdown incidents fluctuated by just a few thousand between 2014/15 and 2016/17 before dramatically jumping by almost 10,000 in 2017/18.
The boost in figures for 2018/19 was down to a bumper breakdown rate in July and August as monthly incidents rose above 20,000 for the first time in five years.
April and May also saw exceedingly high breakdown rates of over 18,000 in a rise on previous years figures which sat between 14,932 and 16,510.
The winter months also saw an increase in breakdown incidents when compared to previous statistics. December breakdowns were up 1,000 on 2017/18 and almost 4,000 higher than the 2016/17 which recorded the lowest figures.
The data also revealed the M1 was once again the most popular road for breakdowns in England as more than 32,152 incidents were recorded.
This is also a five-year high for the road and is the first time figures have climbed above 30,000 over the past half a decade.
The latest figures are a 13 percent rise on the previous year and a dramatic increase compared to the 25,738 incidents recorded between 2015 and 2016.
M1 breakdowns have now totalled 139,394 over the past five years to make up 17 percent of all breakdown across motorways in England.
The M6 climbed into second place after suffering more breakdown incidents last year than former runner-up the M25.
Statistics show 29,428 motorists suffered issues on the M6 compared to just 24,645 last year in a staggering 16 percent drop.
The popular M25 recorded 27,941 breakdown incidents in an 11 percent increase on the 24,818 recorded issues last year.
Data revealed the A1M saw a massive 31.7 percent increase in breakdown figures over the last five years as incidents were also up on the M3.
Figures show breakdowns on the M3 motorway connecting London to Southampton were up by almost 40 percent as total incidents soared past 7,000.
The A1 bucked the breakdown trend as incidents fell to 3,187 to record the roads fourth successive decline.
A spokesperson for Highways England said: “When looking at the highest frequency of incidents it is important to look at the context in terms of road length and traffic flow.
“Unsurprisingly the top three roads with the highest number of Breakdowns also appear in the top three when looking at traffic flow rates.”
The data comes just weeks after Highways England told Express.co.uk that motorways in the UK were among the very safest in the world.
Highways England previously claimed motorways in Britain were three times safer than A roads and six times safer than single carriageway A roads.
The agency urges motorists to consult small checks on their vehicle to make sure a car is roadworthy and fit for use before starting a long motorway journey.
Highways England claims research shows a quarter of all issues are caused by tyre problems and urges vehicle owners to conduct quick checks. Tyre pressures should be monitored and any cuts or wear on tyre rubber should be fixed.
Essentials such as engine oil and water should be checked regularly before any long journeys and topped up to ensure these critical fluids do not run out easily.
The agency also advises motorists to check whether all vital light signals are working efficiently and road users should never forget to check whether they have enough fuel when travelling on a long journey.