Scotland has worst potholes in the UK, four miles deep in total

A study for insurance firm Confused.comrevealed Scotland has the worst potholes in the UK. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
A study for insurance firm Confused.comrevealed Scotland has the worst potholes in the UK. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Share this article
0
Have your say

Scottish roads are littered with the highest number of potholes in the UK and would stretch to a combined depth of nearly four miles, according to a new study.

New research revealed that a total of 154,310 potholes were reported to Scottish councils last year – around 16,000 more than the next worst-hit region, the South-west of England.

Scots are reporting around 423 holes each day, triple the amount reported by those in London.

READ MORE: Clyde shipyard workers ‘betrayed’ over frigate order

More than one million potholes were reported to councils last year, according a study for insurance firm Confused.com which also revealed that councils paid £3.1 million in compensation to drivers whose vehicles were damaged by poor road surfaces in 2016.

Local authorities spent an additional £104 million repairing potholes.

READ MORE: Bill Jamieson: Are plans for Universal Income delusional?

READ MORE: Tory Government defeated on controversial Universal Credit

The figures were obtained following Freedom of Information requests to 412 local authorities.

Confused.com calculated that the UK’s potholes have a total depth of more than 24 miles, which is almost four times deeper than the Pacific Ocean.

A survey of 2,000 motorists found that one in three (33 per cent) have suffered damage to their vehicles due to poor road surfaces, including tyres and suspension problems.

Wiltshire Council made the biggest pay-outs to pothole victims at £508,000 last year.

The cost of repair varies between areas, with Westminster City Council forking out the most per pothole at £2,400.

Confused.com motoring editor Amanda Stretton said: “Scrolling to depths of 40km (25 miles) really puts the UK’s pothole problem into perspective.

“They are a major bugbear among drivers, not least because of the damage they do to our vehicles - around £3.1 million worth of damage.

“If drivers experience a bump in the road, they should report it to their local council as soon as possible before the problem gets any worse.

“The cost of motoring alone is getting more and more expensive and damage repairs is a big contributor to this, as car parts increase in price as well.”

The annual road maintenance survey by the Ashphalt Industry Alliance found that local authorities in England and Wales need more than £12 billion of funding to bring the road network up to scratch.

This is several times more than councils’ entire annual revenue spending on highways and transport, which was £4.4 billion in England last year.

:: This is a regional breakdown of the UK’s pothole problem, according to Confused.com:

REGION - NUMBER OF POTHOLES - TOTAL DEPTH IN METRES

- Scotland - 154,310 - 6,364m

- South-west England - 138,672 - 5,495m

- South-east England - 125,797 - 5,199m

- North-west England - 120,748 - 4,842m

- Yorkshire and The Humber - 92,894 - 3,901m

- North-east England - 77,960 - 3,118m

- East of England - 62,027 - 2,957m

- West Midlands - 72,462 - 2,806m

- East Midlands - 42,549 - 1,762m

- Northern Ireland - 78,147 - 1,563m

- London - 42,738 - 1,522m

- Wales - 18,679 - 733m

Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s transport spokesman, said: “Councils share the frustration of motorists having to drive on roads that are often inadequate and are doing the best they can in challenging circumstances.

“Only with adequate funding from central government can local authorities deliver roads for the 21st century.”

A Government spokeswoman said: “Year on year, the Department for Transport is providing councils with record levels of capital funding - more than £7.1 billion up to 2021 - for them to improve local roads and repair potholes.

“It is vital councils spend this cash to keep roads in good condition.

“We’ve also announced plans for a new major road network that will give councils access to a multi-billion pound fund to improve or replace the most important A-roads in their area.”