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England’s motorists report a pothole every 45 seconds

Motors | Published:

New FOI data reveals almost 700,000 potholes were reported in FY2018/19 — with repairs totalling just shy of £1bn

Drivers across England are complaining to local councils about potholes every 45 seconds, according to new data.

Figures obtained by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) through a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests revealed a staggering 699,535 potholes were reported to English authorities in the 2018/19 financial year.

In the same period the previous year, 615,557 reports were made — suggesting the problem is only growing.

Motorists in the North East reported the most potholes, with 103,585 complaints made. Drivers in Yorkshire & The Humber followed that with 92,010 highlighted, while those in the South Central region rounded out the three most prolific areas with 87,907 reports made.

These FOI requests also revealed English councils had spent £949,866,134 on road repair in that time — up from £820,573,877 the previous year.

Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: “These figures show just how widespread the issue is and it’s clear that the Government and local authorities need to sit up and take notice. Measures like more funding for local authorities and improving the coordination between authorities and utility companies will go some way in helping ease the burden of this ever-growing issue.”

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In July, it was announced £348 million would be offered to councils in a bid to improve road quality across the country in two rounds of funding from the Department for Transport.

The first — the £198m Challenge Fund — will be made available this year and next, with councils able to bid for a share of the pot. Following that, the £150m Pinch Point Fund will be made available in 2021/22 and 2022/23, with the goal of easing congestion on some of the UK’s busiest roads.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “Local roads are the backbone of the transport network for drivers up and down the country, but we know that some aren’t up to the standard they need to be. Whether it’s congestion or quality, we need to empower local authorities to invest in these roads and make journeys safer and stress-free.

“That’s exactly what this funding will do. Over four years, we’re providing more than a third of a billion pounds to make sure local authorities have the cash they need to make this a reality.”

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