Britain’s Worst Pothole Roads Revealed

Mon 25th Jul 2022

The recurring issue of potholes in major roads is in the news again after the AA published a list of the worst places in the UK for the problem.

While councils claim that they spend some £120million a year on repairing the holes in the road, they seem to be appearing at a faster rate than they are getting fixed, and driving over one can often cause untold damage to a car’s suspension.

The research from the AA found that there have been 1.5 million potholes reported to UK councils in the last four years, with the drivers of Northumberland having to dodge a total of 180,993 reported potholes between April 2018 and June 2021. Unsurprisingly the same council claims to have fixed 175,357 potholes in the same period. Northumberland is way ahead of the next nearest pothole paradise, with Cornwall (88,129), Kirklees (77,552), Newry, Mourne and Down (62,820) the next on the AA’s list of reported potholes.

While many holes are reported, there are likely many thousands more which go unreported, and judging by the small numbers which see claims, it is a problem which is maybe swept under the carpet. Glasgow had the most number of claims in the period between 2018 and 2021, but they only compensated drivers in 121 cases. Overall a total of 43,947 claims were made in the UK, but only 13,187 were successful, which is less than third. Councils only have to pay on a claim if it is proven that they have failed to act on a previously reported pothole.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, said: “Potholes are a frustration to all drivers and are a blight on our roads.

“While they are annoying for car drivers, potholes can be fatal to those on two wheels. As the government seeks to encourage more active travel, walking out to a moon-like surface won’t install confidence to would-be cyclists.

“For too long, both central and local governments blame each other for the lack of funding in maintaining our road surfaces. It’s time both got round the table and heavily invested in smoother, safer streets.”