Birmingham shamed in list of worst national pothole hotspots
Birmingham has been shamed in a list of the worst pothole hotspots with over 58,000 recorded across the city’s roads.
The city council recorded 58,652 potholes between 2015 and 2018 and is placed 13th in the UK.
In Birmingham there was an average of 8.60 potholes per kilometre.
Devon had the most amount of potholes recorded by a local authority at 150,395. City of Edinburgh was the second worst at 112,619 and Northamptonshire third at 108,816.
The data was obtained following a Freedom of Information request by insurance provider The Insurance Emporium to 205 local authorities, 175 of whom responded.
Professor Nicholas Thom, of Nottingham University and a UK pothole expert, said: “Potholes are not an inevitable fact of life.
“They are caused by water that gets into the road surface and is then squeezed by the action of high tyre pressures, made worse by freezing and thawing.
“Very impermeable surfaces, such as hot rolled asphalt, are extremely pothole resistant but they are more expensive and less nice to drive on.”
He added: “More permeable surfaces, as permitted by Highways England and most local authorities, are cheaper and nicer to drive on – until they fall apart and form potholes.
“So the number of potholes per kilometre on a given authority’s roads depends not only on the repair budget, repair strategy, and the climate -frosts are bad news- but also on a historical policy choice, namely what surfacing materials to use. It is a choice that badly needs to be reviewed.”
The A38 Kingsbury Road in Castle Vale was last year revealed as the road which generated the most complaints about potholes in Birmingham.
The city council received 169 reports about defects on the A38 Kingsbury Road in Castle Vale between April 1 2017 and March 31 2018 – more than any other route and an average of nearly one complaint every 48 hours.
The authority stated all reports were investigated individually confirming 112 repairs were carried out by highways contractor Amey during the period.
They added that some potholes may have been reported more than once.
A massive increase in the number of potholes reported by motorists in Wolverhampton prompted the city’s highways bosses to address the problem as a matter of urgency.
In the last two years alone, incidents of reported potholes have risen more than 50 per cent and now average around 1,500 per year.
Particular troubled roads cited by drivers in the city include Bushbury Lane, Oxley, especially near the KFC restaurant, and the nearby roundabout that connects Stafford Road with Three Tuns Lane.