A new study into the number of potholes in the UK has revealed Hertfordshire to be one of the worst.
Out of a list of 10 places, Hertfordshire came ninth with a staggering 72,230 potholes reported to the local councils.
Motoring insurance experts Carole Nash investigated locations around the UK that had the highest number of reported potholes and alongside freedom of information requests with UK Councils, they revealed the 10 worst in the country.
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They are as follows:
1. Cornwall (210,311)
2. Cambridgeshire (184,402)
3. Derbyshire (172,297)
4. Devon (147,779)
5. Oxfordshire (110 106)
6. East Riding of Yorkshire (106,144)
7. Durham (99,630)
8. Rotherham (83,964)
9. Hertfordshire (72,230)
10. Fife (70,254)
In comparison, the councils with the least amount of reported potholes were:
1. Kensington and Chelsea in London (141)
2. Isle of Anglesey (290)
3. Sunderland (320)
4. Rutland (687)
5. Portsmouth (811)
6. Bexley (882)
7. Hammersmith & Fulham (1,283)
8. Haringey (1,451)
9. Lambeth (1,607)
10. Bracknell Forest (1,706)
The results showed that there is no specific area of the country where drivers and motorcyclists can expect better-kept roads. In fact, the areas where the least amount of public usage takes place is where the best roads are located.
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer pledged £2.5 billion to repair 50 million potholes in his March budget but some people don’t think this is enough.
A lawyer called Nick Freeman campaigned for new laws to be introduced that avoid criminally implicating motorists for any incidents involving potholes. He argued that motorists are not responsible for the maintenance of the road and therefore cannot be held accountable for any incidents that occur if they have not been properly maintained.
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According to research, 70% of councils only define a pothole if it is a 40mm deep cavity in the road; the depth of which has the power to crack or even destroy a wheel if hit at the wrong angle.
Any improvement looks to be wishful thinking as only one in six motorists report the issues they experience to local authorities and only one in fourteen claim for damages caused by potholes.
Pothole categories also add another layer of complication; only if a pothole is deemed ‘category 1’ (deeper than 4cm or wider than 15cm) will Highways England make it safe, before full repairing within 28 days. All other potholes, ‘category 2’ are deemed ‘non-superficial’ and have 6 months to be fixed or can be left by local councils to be repaired by future improvement schemes.
Mark Copper, Head of Product at Carole Nash said: “Potholes continue to be an ongoing issue for all motorists and shockingly the number of damaged roads is now estimated to be in the millions. Unfortunately, the government is falling behind on trying to repair them, with the backlog going back 14 years or so and costing in the region of £12 billion to fix.
The really serious issue is that if extremely damaged roads are not fixed in the next five years, they will be forced to close due to being a safety hazard. And these safety hazards are exaggerated many times for motorbike users, where the hitting of a pothole can prove fatal.
When we take all this into consideration, it’s hard not to agree with Nick Freeman’s point of view – that motorists are not responsible for the maintenance of roads.
The most important thing to takeaway here is that all motorists should be reporting potholes to their local council as this is the only way we can ensure the upkeep of our roads in the future.”
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