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How much Damage are Potholes Causing to UK Roads?

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Potholes seem to be a problem for drivers throughout the UK that just doesn’t seem like it will go away. A new report published by the RAC underlines this point, in which the organization revealed that between January and March 2017 they had to deal with over 6,500 breakdown jobs which were likely attributable to poor road surfaces.

You have to go back to the first quarter of 2015 to find the last instance of so many pothole-related breakdowns being recorded by the organization in a three-month period — there were close to 6,900 breakdowns recorded then. However, in the early months of 2015, the country was subjected to more days of frost and rainfall when compared to the first three months of 2017, when the nation experienced mild and moderately dry conditions.

To establish just how serious an issue potholes have become the UK’s road network, check out this investigation by Inchcape Volkswagen, a used VW stockist which can also provide comprehensive after sales services, MOTs and repairs to solve problems like suspension damage and wheel misalignment:

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Locating the pothole hotspots throughout the UK:

After analyzing the road hazards which have been reported to them, FillThatHole.org.uk has been able to compile a league table that details the top ten locations for potholes…

Position Authority Region Total reports Open reports Fixed reports Percentage fixed
1 Surrey South East England 7,657 6,473 1,149 15%
2 Hampshire South East England 4,133 3,241 849 21%
3 Essex South East England 3,804 2,912 878 23%
4 Hertfordshire South East England 3,557 3,004 530 15%
5 Kent South East England 3,478 3,105 364 10%
6 Lancashire North West England 3,301 2,484 792 24%
7 Oxfordshire South East England 3,245 2,225 985 31%
8 Glasgow Scotland 3,059 2,444 601 20%
9 Cheshire East North West England 2,980 2,110 787 27%
10 West Sussex South East England 2,845 2,034 783 28%

Rank the top ten locations on open reports though and FillThatHole.org.uk’s league table looks quite different…

Position Authority Region Open reports Total reports Fixed reports Percentage fixed
1 Surrey South East England 6,473 7,657 1,149 15%
2 Hampshire South East England 3,241 4,133 849 21%
3 Kent South East England 3,105 3,479 364 10%
4 Hertfordshire South East England 3,004 3,557 530 15%
5 Essex South East England 2,912 3,804 878 23%
6 Lancashire North West England 2,484 3,301 792 24%
7 Glasgow Scotland 2,444 3,059 601 20%
8 Buckinghamshire South East England 2,399 2,754 343 13%
9 Oxfordshire South East England 2,225 3,245 985 31%
10 Devon South West England 2,114 2,519 385 15%

Understanding how frequent potholes are filled

According to the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey 2017, the average number of potholes which were filled across 2016/17 per local authority in England came in at 13,468.

down into specific regions, FillThatHole.org.uk’s top ten authorities based on fixed reports is as follows…

Position Authority Region Fixed reports Total reports Open reports Percentage fixed
1 York Yorkshire & Humber 1,187 1,341 151 89%
2 Surrey South East England 1,149 7,657 6,473 15%
3 Bristol South West England 1,094 1,475 199 85%
4 Oxfordshire South East England 985 3,245 2,225 31%
5 Cheshire West & Chester North West England 913 1,252 30 97%
6 Essex South East England 878 3,804 2,912 23%
7 Northumberland North East England 869 1,123 5 99%
8 Hampshire South East England 849 4,133 3,241 21%
9 Islington London 825 985 0 100%
10 Lancashire North West England 792 3,301 2,484 24%

The number of drivers who reported damaged over the past year (ranked by region)*

Region Number of drivers
South East England 941k
London 733k
South West England 721k
Yorkshire & Humber 720k
North West England 687k
West Midlands 609k
Scotland 521k
Eastern England 457k
East Midlands 365k
North East England 343k
Wales 201k

The average cost for pothole damage to be repaired (ranked by region)*

Region Average cost
Eastern England £163.68
South East England £124.93
London £124.65
Yorkshire & Humber £120.00
South West England £119.01
Scotland £109.02
West Midlands £87.59
North West England £87.01
East Midlands £86.33
North East England £72.66
Wales £61.83

Detailing England’s structural road condition percentage split

  • Percentage of roads across England in good condition (i.e. they have 15 years or more residual life remaining) — 53 per cent.
  • Percentage of roads across England in adequate condition (i.e. they have between five and 15 years’ residual life remaining) — 30 per cent.
  • Percentage of roads across England in poor condition (i.e. they have less than five years’ residual life remaining) — 17 per cent.

Sources:

https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/news/motoring-news/pothole-related-breakdowns-up-despite-mild-weather/

*RAC data reported on at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/15/pothole-damage-cars-soars-two-thirds-despite-dry-mild-winter/

http://www.asphaltuk.org/wp-content/uploads/ALARM-2017.pdf

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

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