Britain’s Pothole Epidemic

A report by Britannia Rescue has revealed that Britain’s roads are damaged by nearly 200,000 potholes.

The statistics, which are from official council data obtained through a Freedom of Information request, uncovered that there is one pothole for every mile of road in the country.

According to the data, Holly Lane in Barnstead, the B6275 between South Moor Road and Moor Lane in Barnsley, and King Lane in Leeds are the three most potholed roads in the country.

The harsh and freezing winter of 2012 followed by this year’s dry spring and summer have caused significant damage to road surfaces.

Britannia Rescue’s Managing Director, Peter Horton, said: “Britain’s pothole epidemic has resulted from years of under investment in our roads and has been exacerbated by recent harsh winters. Local authorities face difficult choices in the roads they prioritise for repair and we now have around 200,000 potholes on UK roads. Motorists should protect themselves and their vehicles by reducing their speeds on potholed roads, and also reporting damaged roads to their local councils.”

In the past financial year, councils in the UK have been sent 32,600 claims for compensation for damage caused by potholes, an increase of 72% on 2012. Some of the damages claimed for included punctured tyres, damaged suspension and ruined wheel rims.

Councils are paying out a small fortune in compensation claims for damaged vehicles, with data showing that local councils in England, Scotland and Wales have paid out around £2.5 million in the past financial year for pothole damage.

Less than 10% of the UK’s annual road tax bill is actually spent on the maintenance of road surfaces, approximately £16 per driver. This shows that UK road maintenance is extremely underfunded.

Councils also tend to opt for short term fixes for potholes as opposed to solutions that would permanently repair the roads. Almost a quarter of councils admitted that their usual response to a pothole is to temporarily fix it rather than completely resurface the road.

It costs the council £50 to fix a pothole in the road, which means over 50,000 potholes could have been repaired using the compensation money made out by councils.

As well as causing damage to 10% of road users cars in the past 12 months, drivers have also been plagued by problems such as the ‘near miss’, with one in eight drivers saying they have been forced to swerve to avoid a pothole.

If you or a member of your family has had an accident as a result of a pothole in the road or pavement, please contact Express Solicitors today on 0845 456 4007 to discuss your claim free of charge. 

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