Home » News/Views » The land of 100,000 potholes

The land of 100,000 potholes

4 August 2017

As roads deteriorate, drivers and cyclists pay the price. Photo stocksolutions/shutterstock.com

Britain’s infrastructure is crumbling – literally. As council budgets get ever tighter, more than 100,000 potholes have been found on the country’s roads.

The worst areas concentrated in the South East, with Surrey, Hampshire and Kent topping the list revealed by Cycling UK’s website fillthathole.org.uk.

An investigation by the AA has found that Highway and Transport Services budgets among councils in England are £162 million lower this year than last year. The biggest cuts have been made by West Yorkshire Combined Authority, followed by Hampshire, Derbyshire, Newham and Westminster.

The motoring organisation said 62 per cent of local authorities have reduced outgoings on road maintenance to repair potholes, run street lighting and operate school crossing patrols. This coincides with parking service revenue budgets increasing by £42 million over the same period.

But 101 councils, including Manchester City Council and Birmingham City Council, have upped their planned spending to repair potholes and ageing road signs in their areas.

Meanwhile, the RAC reported on 1 August that the number of callouts in the most recent 12 months from motorists affected by potholes has leapt by a third compared with the figures from the previous 12 months.

Its chief engineer, David Bizley, said you would expect potholes to worsen after a spell of bad weather. But, he said, “The most worrying aspect, however, is the fact that this year's weather has been so much milder and drier than in the equivalent six months last year and, for this reason, we should have expected the numbers for the second quarter to be lower.”