Pothole capital of Britain revealed – does your city make the top 10?

A car passes a pothole in a road
Potholes can cause fatal accidents and damage vehicles - ANDREW FOX

Glasgow has been revealed as the pothole capital of Britain, new analysis shows.

The Scottish city has 11.7 potholes left unrepaired for every 1,000 residents, followed by minority Labour-controlled Edinburgh with 8.2 per 1,000 people.

Meanwhile, Hereford emerged as the pothole capital of England with 7.9 potholes unfixed per 1,000 residents and Wrexham was the worst city in Wales with 5.9.

The data is based on areas with at least 100 pothole reports from residents on FixMyStreet, a website that sends maintenance requests to councils and publishes the response times. Reports are marked as “open”, meaning they have not been resolved, or “fixed”.

Across Britain, the Scottish capital Glasgow – run by an SNP-led minority council – had more than 9,700 potholes reported by residents over the past 17 years, less than a third of which have been repaired.

Edinburgh has had less than a quarter of the 5,538 reported potholes being filled in since 2007, data show.

Hereford, a minority Conservative council area, was third worst in the country with 421 potholes for its relatively small population of 53,000, though it had an unusually high rate of repairing half of those reported.

The other cities in the top 10 worst pothole capitals of Britain were Southampton, Wrexham, Stoke-on-Trent, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham and Swansea.

Wrexham was the worst city in Wales, with the independent-led council only repairing one in four reports in the past 13 years and the city’s 135,000 residents still grappling with almost 800 potholes.

Of the top 10 pothole capitals of Britain, Labour-run Manchester had the lowest fix rate with just 19 per cent of road craters being filled in after residents flagged them.

Mo Naser, the chief executive of SmartSurvey which analysed the data, said: “One could argue that bigger cities have more issues to attend to, but they also have bigger budgets and more staff to deal with them.

“For instance, Truro is a tiny cathedral city, but the council fixes two in three reported potholes.”

Political battleground

He added: “Why do Bath, Peterborough, Bristol and Truro, whose populations and filed reports vary so widely, succeed while cities of comparable sizes to each of them struggle?”

Potholes have become a political battleground as the next general election looms, with Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, pledging £8.3 billion for councils to repair them despite critics warning that Tory cuts to local authority budgets since 2010 are the root problem.

Britain’s local roads are in their worst condition in at least 28 years, according to the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey, and data from the RAC shows that pothole-related breakdowns between July and September last year were the highest since at least 2006.

A pothole-related breakdown can cost a driver more than £400 and they can be fatal for cyclists.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils, said: “Councils are working hard to try and tackle the £14 billion backlog of road repairs.

“Many factors affect repair rates, such as the road profile, traffic levels and available budgets. Councils would much prefer to focus on preventative repairs but only greater, year-on-year funding for maintaining all parts of our highways will help them achieve this.”

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