More than half a million potholes were reported by members of the public to local authorities in Britain for repair in 2017 – an increase of 44% on two years earlier.
According to an RAC freedom of information request made to 212 councils in England, Scotland and Wales, 512,270 potholes were reported last year to 161 authorities compared to 356,432 from 152 councils in 2015.
“It is shocking to see the number of reported potholes in Britain has risen by nearly 50% in two years,” said RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes.
“Our own analysis of breakdown data shows the damage suffered by motorists is a constant source of frustration and expense, but the scale of the problem is obviously far greater than the numbers show.
“Perhaps motorists are more inclined to report pothole defects than they were a few years ago, but we believe the sheer size of the increase is further proof the condition of our roads is worsening.
With over half a million potholes reported in 2017 and a more accurate figure for all authorities, including those that didn’t provide data, likely to be in excess of 674,000, this is sadly just the tip of the iceberg as thousands will go unreported every year.
“This means road users are then reliant on authorities finding these potholes in their regular inspections and taking action to fix them which in reality is probably less likely to happen.
“However, when road users report potholes the onus is on the authority concerned to fix them or risk suffering subsequent compensation claims as a result of not doing so.
“For that reason, we urge everyone to report potholes so that motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and other road users don’t suffer the consequences of poorly maintained road surfaces, whether that’s damage to their vehicles, motorbikes or bicycles, or worse still a collision.”