Cumbria has been named England’s pothole capital after data shows it is tops for complaints about its crater-ridden roads.

According to data logged by the Fill That Hole site, the North West beat Surrey and Hampshire to claim the title.

Cycling UK runs the dedicated site for pothole reporting. It is used mainly by people on two wheels. However, the results will indicate where poor roads surfaces most often cause motor damage.

Cumbria received the most complaints about cratered roads: A total of 448 potholes were registered on the Fill That Hole website in 2021 - more than any other county in England

Cumbria had the greatest number of complaints about roads that were clogged. A total 448 potholes have been reported to Fill That Hole in 2021. This is more than any county in England.

Website users can report common issues such as potholes and dips in the asphalt, or deteriorating roads surfaces. The website then forwards this information to local authorities for repairs. 

Cumbria received 448 reports of potholes over the past twelve months. This is higher than in any other part.

This was in addition to the 406 complaints about potholes in Hampshire that were made in 2021, and the 399 in Surrey.

The top five most complained-about regions were Devon, with 384 potholes logged, and Gloucestershire with 281

This is after the RAC revealed that car accidents caused by potholes have increased by three times in the past year. In 2021 the recovery service was able to receive 10,123 emergency calls due to road damage. That’s an increase of ten percent over the pre-pandemic 2019 record.

England’s top 10 most pothole-prone areas

These are the locations with the highest number of complaints regarding dangerous potholes by 2021  

1. Cumbria – 448

2. Hampshire – 406

3. Surrey – 399

4. Devon – 384

5. Gloucestershire – 281

6. Shropshire – 257

7. County Durham – 252

8. Cheshire – 245

9. West Yorkshire – 219

10. West Midlands – 207

Source: Fill That Hole

Motoring Association MotorEasy founder Duncan McClure Fisher was the chief executive. He warned that both freezing weather and insufficient funding will make it more difficult for everyone on roads.

He stated that this was a problem that had been growing for many years due to the lack of investments in road infrastructure over the past decades in the UK.

‘The government has ploughed more than £1.2billion into repairing potholes since 2010, but it seems that’s still not enough.

“Individual Councils” are spending literally millions of pounds to address the problem without much success.

“January through March” is usually referred to as “potholes season”, but this year it may be extended due to the Covid pandemic, which saw highways workers being transferred to other areas.

The sheer amount of potholes makes it difficult to travel without hitting at least one. They also pose serious danger to your car.

You could end up paying a lot to fix suspension damage. Problems that are most common include bent suspension wishbones and broken coil springs.

“Hitting a roadcrater can cause serious damage to your alloys and wheel rims. A heavy impact could even bend or severely distort a tire.

“If this occurs, it could cause the airtight sealing to fail with the tire. It can also result in costly trips to the garage.

The Fill That Hole data provides a more detailed view of how many craters exist, some even posing a risk to the lives of cyclists.

One was reported in Cumbria near Penrith on January 9th. It describes a “deep pothole” that had reportedly damaged two vehicles and one completely.

The crater had been repaired recently, but it wasn’t durable enough to last longer than its original pothole.

Another hotspot in Cumbria, this time near the hamlet of Parsonby, highlights another major risk posed by potholes – they can cause people to swerve and therefore put other road users in peril.

According to the poster, two large potholes are causing hazards on narrow roads. Drivers of cars/lorries must slow down/stop quickly or risk being unable to drive through potholes.

Last June, the A320 north of Guildford was identified as a ‘lethal’ bus/cycle lane.

The poster concerned added that it was in an “incredible danger.” It had red paint for about a month, and nothing was done to fix it.

A ‘deep depression on the carriageway in Worthy Road was discovered in Hampshire in September 2021. It had ‘getting worse’ and became dangerous to both cyclists and traffic.

According to records, the matter is not yet resolved.

MotorEasy’s Mr McClure Fischer added that the public is the “eyes and ears” of local authorities in identifying potholes.

“But what’s worrying about this data? It’s just a small percentage of all the issues that exist.

“Most reports are from cyclists, and not all people report issues because they feel it is a waste of time or simply don’t have the energy.

“With money in short supply and cuts to all areas of society as a result of the pandemic’s effects, it’s hard to know where the funds are coming from to repair all of these roads and potholes.

For the best protection against damage caused by potholes to your car, it is important to insure that your tires are properly inflated.

He stated that the wheels should not be too firm or too soft to absorb the force of hitting a pothole.

We advise everyone to monitor their tyre pressure during the cold months as air inflates and can cause them to become under-inflated.

“Check them at least once per week is a good rule to follow.” 

Are you being charged for repairs to potholes? This is how you can file a claim to receive compensation…

Grace Gausden is This is Money’s consumer rights expert 

While it is unlikely that motorists can claim back any money if their vehicle is damaged in an accident, this is how you file a claim for compensation.

1. Take your evidence with youIf it is safe, take a note about the location of the pothole, as well as the date and time you struck it.

Take your vehicle to a garage to have the damage assessed. You will need the written report from the mechanic to support your claim.

Your case is based on what evidence you gather from the individual you are making a claim against. So, get as much information as you can.

2. Who’s responsible?Next, determine who is responsible for maintaining the road. Different authorities have different responsibilities.

Local councils maintain roads in England, Wales, and Scotland, including B roads and smaller roads.

You will need to show that the council was negligent if you are convinced they are responsible. This is not easy.

You can ask for copies and reports from incidents or highway maintenance schedules within 14 days after an accident to show that either the highway is not being maintained correctly, or that there has been a problem with a pothole.

It is crucial to be able to show the evidence that the incident would not have happened if the council hadn’t acted.

3. It is possible to report it Now you know who’s in charge you’ll need to lodge a formal claim – see if the relevant body has a template you can fill in.

Please include all information possible. This includes the mechanic’s report, repair costs, and photos.

4. Do you have an offer?Are you satisfied with the offers made by council? Does it include your expenses? You can appeal to the council for a refund.

If the Highways Agency or council fails to uphold its obligation to maintain the roads in good repair, you have the right to fair compensation.

A pothole that has been already reported to the council and not yet acted on will increase your chances of settlement.

5. Offer rejected?You can get legal assistance if you believe your claim was unfairly denied.

This could take a lot of time and be costly if there is a large repair cost.

6. You can claim through your insuranceComprehensive coverage will allow you to claim pothole damage under your policy. But it is important that you consider the costs of any damage, your excess payments, and whether the claim could affect your No Claims Bonus.


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