Pothole plague: one every mile in Great Britain

10 Oct, 2013 11:24am Nathan Velayudhan

Recent research suggests there is a pothole for every mile of road in Great Britain

Britain is plagued with almost 200,000 potholes, according to official council data.

Britannia Rescue found through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, councils across England, Wales and Scotland have paid out a total of £2.5million in compensation for potholes or other road damage in the past financial year.

Meanwhile, compensation claims have increased by 79% from the previous financial year, with UK councils receiving 32,600 claims. These were for everything from pothole damage to wheel rims, puncturing tyres and damaging suspension. In the past 12 months, one in ten people say their car has been damaged as a result of poor road surfaces.

The combination of a harsh winter followed by a dry summer may have exacerbated the problem of poor road surfaces, but the research also suggests that road maintenance in the UK is severely under-funded. Only £16 is spent per driver on maintaining road surfaces and fixing potholes - that's less than 10% of the annual road tax bill.

Peter Horton, Britannia Rescue Managing Director, said: “Britain’s pothole epidemic has resulted from years of underinvestment 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 speed on potholed roads, and also reporting damaged roads to their local council.”

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