New figures claim that adding up all the potholes in Lancashire would result in a giant chasm almost two kilometres deep.
Freedom of Information data obtained by Confused.com reveals motorists in the North West have been given quite the bumpy ride, as 97,961 potholes were reported to local councils in 2017/18.
To see just how far this problem goes, Confused.com has combined these reports with the minimum depth of a road defect to be considered a pothole to reveal a total depth of almost 4km (3,901m).
According to the figures, Lancashire comes out on top for having the deepest pothole problem in the north west, with almost 50,000 potholes reported in one year, stretching to 1,989m deep.
Having this many potholes can be a very costly job for councils, as they fork out for repairs, as well as compensation to victims of damage to vehicles caused by road defects. In fact, almost a third (31%) of motorists in the North West say they have had their car damaged by a pothole in the past, costing £92 to fix, on average. And this led to councils in the region forking out £143,841 to compensate motorists for this damage in one year alone (2017/18). This is on top of the £21 million spent repairing road defects in the same year.
The scale of the UK’s pothole problem has not gone unnoticed by motorists, as further research conducted by Confused.com found more than a third (34%) of UK drivers have suffered damage to their vehicle as a result of poor road conditions. And it seems February is the most prolific month for this, as more than one in seven (15 per cent) incidents occurred during this time of year. Most of the damage reported was to the vehicle’s tyres (53 per cent), while more than a quarter (26 per cent) said hitting the pothole caused damaged to their suspension, which can be quite costly to fix. This could explain why local authorities across the UK have had to fork out almost £2.8 million to compensate victims of pothole damage in one year (2017/18).
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says: “Our research shows just how deep the North West’s pothole problem goes – a problem that has caused councils to pay out almost £144,000 in compensation for pothole damage to vehicles in the last year alone.
“The number of potholes reported in the UK has increased by two per cent in the last year, and it’s a battle councils continue to fight. If motorists come across a pothole they should report it to their local authority before it gets any worse.”
You can see the true depth of the pothole problem with this scrolling animation.