Public spending on pot hole repairs revealed in new report

Published 20 November 2020

Wiltshire has spent £68.6 million on repairing potholes over the past three years, meaning it spends the most of any county in the UK. But Cornwall has the highest number of potholes - with over 210,331 reported since January 2017 - according to research by MoneySuperMarket.

Cornwall reported over 25,000 more potholes than Cambridgeshire (184,402), which came in second place. Derbyshire (172,297), Devon (147,779) and Oxfordshire (110,106) round out the top five counties when it comes to reporting potholes.

RAC patrols rescued 3426 motorists whose vehicles had been damaged by the UK’s pothole-ridden roads in the first three months of 2020. It followed research from Halfords, which claimed that one third of UK drivers have been forced to pay between £1000 - £4999 over the past two months to fix pothole-related vehicle damage.

The research also claimed that around one in 10 car drivers and motorbike riders have suffered a serious and long-lasting injury because of a pothole-related accident.

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Wiltshire tops the charts when it comes to expenditure, with the West Country county having spent £69 million on 43,000 pothole repairs since 2017. This is nearly £18 million more than Warwickshire, which spent £51 million. Cheshire West and Chester (£39 million), Kent (£34 million) and Cheshire East (£24 million) were the next highest spenders.

Stockport reported the lowest pothole spend in the country of £24,000, followed by Kensington and Chelsea (£34,000) and Rutland (£44,000) - but these are significantly smaller counties.

In March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £500m annual fund to fix potholed roads across the UK. The funding package will be used to start resurfacing works, preventing potholes rather than just repairing existing ones.

"It’s not only that they can be dangerous from a safe driving perspective, but they can also cause damage to your car. Burst tyres, problems with suspension and even damage to your vehicle’s body work – potholes can really make their presence felt," said a spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket.

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Andyvtr    6 days ago

If the government wants to promote active commuting, fixing potholed roads is crucial for the safety of vulnerable cyclists.

hissingsid    6 days ago

If ever there was a golden opportunity to repair our third world roads, it was the Spring lockdown. Good weather, very little traffic, and a workforce already provided with protective clothing which could easily have been upgraded to ensure their safety.

Needless to say, the opportunity was missed and the potholes are getting worse.

Engineer Andy    6 days ago

Quite right - and ironically, my council CANCELLED (it's still not done) a major resurfacing project on the main road into my town next to the station, despite the roads then being essentially empty (as was the station car park) during the entirety of the first lockdown period.

Despite research showing that being outside and warm, sunny weather was a significant impediment to COVID spreading (compared to being indoors), no further works of significance were undertaken since March. I counted two minor resurfacing works only. Another heavily used road serving an industrial area also needed resurfacing and yet...nothing.

They did spend a lot on barriers, cones and signs telling us not to park in the town centre, plus spray painting drain locations, and more recently, road marking locations or the pimples at crossovers. No idea why for the latter, given none need repainting or repairing.

No street sweeping either, despite that always being done by a single person with their trolley & broom or the bigger HGV with the vacuum hose.

How much you want to be that Council Tax will be hiked by between 10 and 20% this spring? Presumably to pay for all those council workers on full pay twiddling their thumbs whilst the rest of us go slowly bankrupt/lose our jobs for what, exactly?

conman    6 days ago

Trying to save money on not having a common sense resurfacing programme costs the council more money and the motorist ( through suspension repairs). I know after having 3 cars suffer coil spring breakages and I'm a careful driver, don't even mention road humps.

Engineer Andy    5 days ago

Apparently, councils spend more money on compensating vehicle owners for damage casued by reported (ones that aren't does lead to liability - so always report them as they are seen, even as a pedestrian) potholes that if they'd repaired them. And it's not by a small amount either.

Go figure.

prefer classic    yesterday

No wonder local authorities have no money when they are paying that amount out to repair potholes. The ones in our area never last because they are never prepared correctly.

Mr Nexus    yesterday

The roads are appalling in West Yorkshire. The Council make it really hard to report by making the public identify the exact area with a useless map. I've even had a frosty discussion on the telephone when reporting because the map didn't feature the road I was concerned about. It's also hilarious that dangerous manhold covers are fobbed of by the Council to the utility companies. The only way is to harrass everyone until it gets done.

primus 1    yesterday

Didn’t they change the ved back in 2017 to be used on the road infrastructure from 2020....?

AQ    yesterday

I live in Wiltshire and there appears to be little correlation between how much is spent and the actual condition of the roads. This is probably true everywhere. The problem arises because Councils do not supervise their contracts properly. They pay big money to contractors (our money), but do not check what they are getting in return. Also, they have to allow utility companies to dig up roads to lay pipes, cables, drains etc, but do not ensure that the road is finished off to an acceptable standard afterwards.

balloon    yesterday

Perhaps the government should cease funding any council that cannot demonstrate effective contract management by competent people - client and contractor! Pre vetted contractors to carry out the repairs to a defined and managed standard with retention of payment for a reasonable period to ensure the repair lasts - perhaps independent auditing. Monitoring of work in progress, materials and equipment used. Not just dropping a pile of material into a hole and flattening it!! Commonly, I find that within weeks we are back to that same and in some cases a worse state.

Edited by balloon on 26/11/2020 at 20:18

Mike Richardson    2 hours ago

"It followed research from Halfords, which claimed that one third of UK drivers have been forced to pay between £1000 - £4999 over the past two months to fix pothole-related vehicle damage."
I find this extremely hard to believe!
Can someone please provide a link to verify it.

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