Pothole plague plumbing new depths
The combined depth of potholes in England is 15 times that of the lowest point in the Grand Canyon, with one reported every 43 seconds. Nearly 700,000 potholes were reported over the past year, a 13 per cent year-on-year rise, data obtained by the Federation of Small Businesses showed.
THE combined depth of potholes in England is 15 times that of the lowest point in the Grand Canyon, with a new one reported every 43 seconds, figures have revealed.
Nearly 700,000 potholes were reported on the highways over the past year, marking a 13 per cent jump on the previous year, data obtained by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) showed.
A parallel increase in the bills councils faced for repairing potholes – reaching £949 million in 2018-19 – has prompted calls for the Government to “sit up and take notice”.
Most local authorities define a pothole as any dip in the road surface of 40mm and above, meaning the combined depth of the past year’s potholes would reach 28km. This amounts to nearly 15 times deeper than the darkest depths of the Grand Canyon, or three times the height of Mount Everest.
More than £1.9million was paid in compensation to motorists who had their vehicles damaged by potholes last year, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The pothole crisis was described earlier this year as a “national scandal” in a report by MPS sitting on the Commons transport select committee.
The FSB said the poor state of repair on roads had affected small businesses and that local authorities needed more funding from central Government.
Mike Cherry, the national chairman of the FSB, said: “Potholes are a major concern for the nation’s small businesses. Our members rely heavily on the local road network, with their staff, customers and trade deliveries, dependent on fast and efficient road networks.
“Poorly looked-after roads peppered with holes and cracks not only hamper their ability to do business, but lead to damaged vehicles, which are often vital assets to small firms working without large capital reserves.
“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.”