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.”

• Government reveals £28 billion investment in UK roads

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why bother reporting it, unlikely to get fixed !
This government likes to portray that were broke but was all gung ho about going into Syria so we clearly do have money. the roads at not a priority for this government

Councils seem to spend more time painting cycle lanes and putting down anti-skid coating that last about 6 months than resurfacing.

Well, as cyclists are always pointing out to certain ignorant car drivers (among whom is evidently numbered the author of this piece, Nathan Velayudhan), there's no such thing as road tax.

I am horrified at the state of roads in this country. Having not long arrived from southern Europe, where you would expect poor roads, in fact, I had more problems from overgrown palm trees and wandering goats than poor road surfaces.

Things will not change; Britain is in terminal decline.

Just back from Normandy where kilometre after kilometre of well maintained but lightly trafficked roads are to be found. Even "white van man" tends to drive with precision and anticipation. Cyclists are given space and respond by actually obeying the rules.
Now it is back to the U.K. with Mr. (below) Average messing around at traffic lights and chippy, aggressive cyclists. A main road (particularly in Kent) may well be in worse a condition than a country lane in the Cotentin.
If only the U.K. was really as good as its own opinion of itself.

The government can do all the survey they want, nothing will be done and compensation for my damages to vehicle which cost £250 pounds because they simply don't care.

Britain has one of the poorest road infrastructures of any devloped country. From potholes to ruts and adverse cambers to faded road markings. The poor state of the roads in this country is the main reason I would not purchase a brand new car.