Sunday 23 July 2023

2.4 million potholes reported across England and Wales*

New data reveals drivers in England and Wales face pothole potluck as they head to the roads this summer.

New research from Go.Compare car insurance has revealed the areas in the UK where drivers are likely to face the most potholes.

Go.Compare submitted more than 300 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to councils across England and Wales, to determine which of the UK’s roads needed the most pothole repair work. It found that Derbyshire County Council tops the list, with 215,787 potholes reported between January 2020 and December 2022.*

Both Durham and Lancashire County Councils also reported more than 180,000 potholes in the same three-year period, as four of the five counties to feature in the top five are northern counties.

Councils / Number of reported potholes (2020-2022)

Derbyshire County Council - 215,787

Durham County Council - 189,821

Lancashire County Council - 189,461

Surrey County Council - 142,564

Northumberland Country Council - 132,319

Oxfordshire County Council - 79,795

Kirklees Council - 73,721

Somerset Country Council - 59,185

Staffordshire County Council - 58,689

Kent County Council - 58,284

Derbyshire County Council also topped the list on an annual basis, with the most potholes reported in both 2020 (73,435) and 2021 (75,677). Although Lancashire County Council beat them to the top spot in 2022, reporting 67,439 potholes.

However, it isn’t just motorists in the north of England who are being driven around the bend by potholes – the roads of picturesque Somerset, Surrey, Oxfordshire, and Kent also feature in the top ten.

Ryan Fulthorpe, Go.Compare’s motoring expert commented on the findings:
“It is clear that potholes are a huge concern for motorists, whether because of the potential for accidents, or the risk of costly repairs to their cars. In fact, we conducted a recent survey which found that 48% of motorists name potholes as their biggest worry.** In the Spring Budget, the government even pledged a further £200 million to tackle the potholes plaguing UK roads, highlighting the scale of the problem.*** 
“As holidaymakers pack up for long, scenic drives this summer, the sheer number of potholes could really dampen spirits on those sunnier days. And while the quality of the roads is out of drivers’ control, there are things we can do to limit the risks to our cars – and our wallets. 
“Firstly, make sure you always take caution when driving, particularly on unfamiliar roads. Research your route before you travel and pay close attention to any road warnings. If you are particularly worried about potholes, try avoiding particularly narrow and rural roads, as these may be less frequently maintained. 
“If you do hit a pothole, make sure you report it – whether you intend to make a claim or not. Collect evidence to identify the potholes, note its location and take a photo of the pothole (as long as it is safe to do so). Photograph any damage it has caused and save this information to report to the relevant authority. 
“As pothole damage to your car can prove expensive, it is important to have the right car insurance policy in place. A fully-comp policy will help protect you if the worst happens, so you can instead focus on getting back to enjoying the open road.”

Learn more about claiming for pothole damage, here:

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