• 12,000 miles of roads and 31,162 potholes awaiting repair in Britain
  • One in seven UK drivers have had their car damaged as a result of driving on potholed or uneven road surfaces
  • In 2014/15 councils paid out a combined sum of more than £1.6m compensation to motorists who suffered vehicle damage

Accidentally driving into a pothole on one of Britain’s roads can be a costly mistake for motorists. Recent research by LV= Road Rescue has shown that over the past year, one in seven drivers have had their car damaged as a result of driving on potholed or uneven road surfaces.

It’s not cheap to fix either; the most common damage was caused to the tyres, suspension and wheel rims, costing on average £267 to repair.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Britain’s roads are going to improve any time soon. Due to a significant lack of council funding, there are now 12,000 miles of roads awaiting repair up and down the country – and 31,162 potholes in need of attention.

Potholes in the road are caused by water seeping into the road surface, freezing and creating wider gaps in the road. However not all gaps are potholes. To officially count as a pothole, the gap must be at least 40mm deep and the height of two stacked 20p coins.

The worst roads in Britain

Top five roads to avoid

  1. Blackwater Valley Road, Ash Vale, Surrey (31 claims)
  2. Page Street (NW7), London (24 claims)
  3. Halifax Road, Sheffield (22 claims)            
  4. Westfield Road, Edinburgh (19 claims)
  5. Great Cambridge Road, Hertfordshire (13 claims)

Over the past year councils have paid out a combined sum of more than £1.6m in compensation to motorists who suffered vehicle damage as a result of potholes. This is in addition to each council spending around £5m in the same period to try to fix the roads.

Motorists, fear not; help is at hand

Researchers from the University of Leeds are currently working on a pioneering £4.2m project to create “self-repairing cities” by developing small robots that can fix potholes, utility pipes and street lights.

Professor Phil Purnell, leading the research said:

“We want to make Leeds the first city in the world to have zero disruption from street works. We can support infrastructure which can be entirely maintained by robots and make the disruption caused by the constant digging up the road in our cities a thing of the past.”