Report: The UK’s Pothole Problem
Potholes in the UK are becoming more common on our roads and can sometimes take months until they’re fixed by the council. Potholes are especially problematic for cyclists, and if the results of this new report by the RAC are anything to go by, things aren’t looking good. Now we ask the question on everybody’s mind: just how bad is the pothole situation in Britain? VW service provider Inchcape Volkswagen explores…
Although cars are the most common vehicle on our roads, drivers aren’t the only people to suffer from potholes. Cyclists also suffer the consequences and unfortunately for them, hitting a pothole can have a much more severe outcome. According to a report from the Independent, 50 cyclists are killed or seriously injured due to the dangers in our roads, and this is becoming a more frequent problem.
Cars aren’t immune either. Figures from the RAC showed that over 6,000 breakdowns between January and March of 2017 were likely because of poor road surfaces. The last time that so many pothole-related breakdowns were recorded in a three-month period was in the first quarter of 2015 (almost 6,900 breakdowns were recorded then). However, in the early months of 2015, the country was subjected to more days of frost and rainfall when compared to the first three months of 2017, when the nation experienced mild and moderately dry conditions.
The chief engineer from the RAC said: “Our figures sadly show a surprising and unwelcome first quarter rise in the number of breakdowns where the poor quality of the road surface was a major factor. We had expected a figure no worse than that recorded in the first quarter of 2016 (4,026) and it is very concerning that the roads, strangely, appear to have deteriorated in a mild, comparatively dry winter.”
UK Pothole Statistics – Hotspots
The following table shows the 10 counties with the most reported pothole problems, as compiled by FillThatHole.org.uk. It is based on the number of road hazards which were reported to highway authorities:
|Position||Authority||Region||Total reports||Open reports||Fixed reports||Percentage fixed|
|1||Surrey||South East England||7,657||6,473||1,149||15%|
|2||Hampshire||South East England||4,133||3,241||849||21%|
|3||Essex||South East England||3,804||2,912||878||23%|
|4||Hertfordshire||South East England||3,557||3,004||530||15%|
|5||Kent||South East England||3,478||3,105||364||10%|
|6||Lancashire||North West England||3,301||2,484||792||24%|
|7||Oxfordshire||South East England||3,245||2,225||985||31%|
|9||Cheshire East||North West England||2,980||2,110||787||27%|
|10||West Sussex||South East England||2,845||2,034||783||28%|
Here is how the top ten places of FillThatHole.org.uk’s league table looks when ranked on open reports though:
|Position||Authority||Region||Open reports||Total reports||Fixed reports||Percentage fixed|
|1||Surrey||South East England||6,473||7,657||1,149||15%|
|2||Hampshire||South East England||3,241||4,133||849||21%|
|3||Kent||South East England||3,105||3,479||364||10%|
|4||Hertfordshire||South East England||3,004||3,557||530||15%|
|5||Essex||South East England||2,912||3,804||878||23%|
|6||Lancashire||North West England||2,484||3,301||792||24%|
|8||Buckinghamshire||South East England||2,399||2,754||343||13%|
|9||Oxfordshire||South East England||2,225||3,245||985||31%|
|10||Devon||South West England||2,114||2,519||385||15%|
How many potholes have been filled in?
From the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey of 2017, we found out that the number of potholes that were filled in from 2016/2017 by the council, in England was 13,568.
The top ten authorities ranked on fixed reports in FillThatHole.org.uk’s league table is as follows:
|Position||Authority||Region||Fixed reports||Total reports||Open reports||Percentage fixed|
|1||York||Yorkshire & Humber||1,187||1,341||151||89%|
|2||Surrey||South East England||1,149||7,657||6,473||15%|
|3||Bristol||South West England||1,094||1,475||199||85%|
|4||Oxfordshire||South East England||985||3,245||2,225||31%|
|5||Cheshire West & Chester||North West England||913||1,252||30||97%|
|6||Essex||South East England||878||3,804||2,912||23%|
|7||Northumberland||North East England||869||1,123||5||99%|
|8||Hampshire||South East England||849||4,133||3,241||21%|
|10||Lancashire||North West England||792||3,301||2,484||24%|
Number of drivers who have reported damage in the past 12 months (by region)*
|Region||Number of drivers|
|South East England||941k|
|South West England||721k|
|Yorkshire & Humber||720k|
|North West England||687k|
|North East England||343k|
Average cost to repair pothole damage (by region)*
|South East England||£124.93|
|Yorkshire & Humber||£120.00|
|South West England||£119.01|
|North West England||£87.01|
|North East England||£72.66|
Structural road condition percentage split in England
- Percentage of roads across England in good condition (i.e. they have 15 years or more residual life remaining) — 53 per cent.
- Percentage of roads across England in adequate condition (i.e. they have between five and 15 years’ residual life remaining) — 30 per cent.
- Percentage of roads across England in poor condition (i.e. they have less than five years’ residual life remaining) — 17 per cent.
COMMENT BELOW: How is the pothole situation in your area? Do you think the situation can simply be rectified by greater investment, or are there smarter ways to help prevent/repair potholes?