Potholes: Just how bad is the problem across the UK?

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A pothole will very likely be encountered whenever you try to drive from A to B across the UK.

The problem is something that the government is aware of, as they have put plans in place in an attempt to bring down the number of these road defects considerably. Chancellor Philip Hammond announced during the 2018 Budget that local councils will be allocated £420 million during this financial year so that they can attempt to fix potholes in their constituency — this is on top of an existing fund that is made up of close to £300 million.

“£420 million to tackle potholes might seem like throwing big money at a relatively minor issue, but it’s a common problem for many drivers who have to fork out cash because their cars are damaged by poor roads,” commented Hannah Maundrell, the Editor in Chief at money.co.uk, after Mr Hammond made his Budget announcement.

“This will be welcome news too for insurance companies who foot a large chunk of the bill.”

Throughout the UK, are potholes now more than just a minor problem though? Also, just how far will the funds go to solving the problem? After all, the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s chairman Rick Green pointed out in March following a local authority survey that “more than £8 billion would be needed to carry out a one-time catch up to bring local roads in England up to scratch”.

To try and find out the answers to both of these questions, Vindis, which has some exceptional Audi offers as well as servicing plans from various brands so you can make sure your vehicle is always in tip-top condition, has investigated just how bad the issue with potholes has become across the UK…

The UK’s pothole hotspots ranked

Highway authorities have been ranked based on the number of road hazards which have been reported to FillThatHole.org.uk, with a league table showcasing the results. Here’s a look at the top ten places currently in this table, as well as how the stats have changed since the summer of 2017…

Position Authority Region Total reports Open reports Fixed reports Percentage fixed
1

 

(= to 2017)

Surrey South East England 8,732

 

(up 14.04% from 2017)

7,455

 

(up 15.17% from 2017)

1,240

 

(up 7.92% from 2017)

14%

 

(down 1 percentage point from 2017)

2

 

(= to 2017)

Hampshire South East England 4,712

 

(up 14.01% from 2017)

3,759

 

(up 15.98% from 2017)

906

 

(up 6.71% from 2017)

19%

 

(down 2 percentage points from 2017)

3

 

(= to 2017)

Essex South East England 4,130

 

(up 8.57% from 2017)

3,209

 

(up 10.2% from 2017)

906

 

(up 3.19% from 2017)

22%

 

(down 1 percentage point from 2017)

4

 

(= to 2017)

Hertfordshire South East England 4,052

 

(up 13.92% from 2017)

3,423

 

(up 13.95% from 2017)

604

 

(up 13.96% from 2017)

15%

 

(equal to 2017)

5

 

(up 1 place from 2017)

Lancashire North West England 3,972

 

(up 20.33% from 2017)

3,080

 

(up 23.99% from 2017)

867

 

(up 9.47% from 2017)

22%

 

(down 2 percentage points from 2017)

6

 

(down 1 place from 2017)

Kent South East England 3,857

 

(up 10.9% from 2017)

3,472

 

(up 11.82% from 2017)

376

 

(up 3.3% from 2017)

10%

 

(equal to 2017)

7

 

(= to 2017)

Oxfordshire South East England 3,663

 

(up 12.88% from 2017)

2,618

 

(up 17.66% from 2017)

1,009

 

(up 2.44% from 2017)

28%

 

(down 3 percentage points from 2017)

8

 

(up 1 place from 2017)

Cheshire East North West England 3,452

 

(up 15.84% from 2017)

2,556

 

(up 21.14% from 2017)

813

 

(up 3.3% from 2017)

24%

 

(down 3 percentage points from 2017)

9

 

(down 1 place from 2017)

Glasgow Scotland 3,203

 

(up 4.71% from 2017)

2,564

 

(up 4.91% from 2017)

625

 

(up 3.99% from 2017)

20%

 

(equal to 2017)

10

 

(no data for 2017)

Buckinghamshire South East England 3,135

 

(up 13.83% from 2017)

2,741

 

(up 14.26% from 2017)

382

 

(up 11.37% from 2017)

12%

 

(down 1 percentage point from 2017)

Check out the data above and you should quickly notice a major headache that’s been faced by those in the UK tasked with sorting out the nation’s pothole crisis. We can see from the figures that all of the ten authorities covered have increased the number of potholes that they have fixed, for instance. However, the number of potholes that have been reported has also increased in each authority. This indicates that there are more new potholes appearing than those tasked with repairing them can keep up with.

Analysing the data linked to the North West England region of Lancashire should highlight this issue further. The number of fixed pothole reports in that area was up 9.47 per cent when compared to the summer of 2017’s figures. While this should be good news, it’s countered by the fact that the total reports in the region increased by 20.33 per cent and the number of open reports was up 23.99 per cent over this same period. Despite their efforts then, Lancashire has actually moved further up FillThatHole.org.uk’s league table!

Ridding the whole of the UK from potholes is going to take a huge effort then. It remains to be seen just how far the £420 million that has been provided from the 2018 Budget will go to solve the crisis on the nation’s road network, but hopefully it’ll be a step in the right direction.

Sources:

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1037920/budget-2018-uk-news-update-potholes-roads

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46007351

https://www.fillthathole.org.uk/league-table?sort=desc&order=Total+Reports

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