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The UK’s ongoing headache with potholes

The RAC have released new data that suggests that drivers in Britain are still having recurring issues with potholes and this is causing a lot of problems. Used Volkswagen provider Inchcape Volkswagen, who offer thorough aftersales services, MOTs and repairs to solve issues such as wheel misalignment and suspension damage, explores…
Between January and March of 2017, the RAC had dealt with almost 7,000 breakdowns that were likely caused by poor road conditions. The last time that so many pothole-related breakdowns were recorded in a three-month period was in the first quarter of 2015 (almost 6,900 breakdowns were 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.
“Our figures sadly show a surprising and unwelcome first quarter rise in the number of breakdowns where the poor quality of the road surface was a major factor. We had expected a figure no worse than that recorded in the first quarter of 2016 (4,026) and it is very concerning that the roads, strangely, appear to have deteriorated in a mild, comparatively dry winter.” Commented David Bizley, a chief engineer at the RAC.
But do we actually know how bad these pot holes are in Britain? 

Where are the potholes?

The table below is based on the number of road hazards which were reported to them with research carried out by FillThatHole.org.uk:

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

… Surrey having almost twice as many reports as the next county, Hampshire.

How many potholes are being filled?

We can see that across England 13,468 potholes were filled throughout 2016/17 by local authorities – in the Asphalt Local Authority Maintenance Survey 2017 – A small percentage of the total number being reported and causing damage (and compensation costs!).
Some local authorities are able to claim that more than 90% of the reported potholes are subsequently fixed… Well done to them!
However, from the table above, it is clear that there are still many places where only 10-15% are being dealt with.
In the past year, in London and South East England, more than 1.6M drivers reported damage to their vehicles. A costly problem.
With the cost of road repairs averaging £163 per pothole in Eastern England, and £124 in London and the South East, you can see why struggling authorities appear to be burying their heads in the sand.

UKMT comments:

My recent drive across several neighbouring nations has convinced me that Britain is now the  pothole capital of Europe.
Travelling mostly on secondary category roads, the equivalent of our A and B roads, I have found French and Spanish roads to be in considerably better condition than ours. 
Ah you say, they have toll roads. Indeed they do, but the toll network of motorways is entirely self financing and in both countries the A and B roads are financed from local taxes and fuel duties.
In our case most of the finances raised by the treasury from road tax, fuel duties, motor insurance levy, vat etc etc does not get spent on the roads. The ring roads are not ring fenced, nor indeed are any of the others!
The government returns a steadily diminishing amount of the taxation to local authorities to keep local roads in good order. Desperately cash strapped councils then divert some of this money to other equally underfunded areas of their responsibility. 
The result is a pathetically small amount of money left for road repairs and, just as bad, no inspectors to check the few works that are done. The inspectors have mostly been made redundant.
I live in Sussex but drive all over, so am certain this sad state of affairs operates throughout most of the UK. 
Every minor road I travel is littered with holes and those few repairs that are carried out are usually of poor quality and often only last a few months. 
We have become a third world country in terms of our roads despite inventing the tarmacadam process … or at least the Scots did… Thank you Scotland.
According to a recent survey most local authorities now spend more on settling motoring insurance claims for pothole related damage than on repairing the potholes. 
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