UK Pothole Statistics & Trends 2024

By Vehicle Contracts18-01-2024
In the wake of the startling revelation from the RAC Pothole Index, highlighting the dire state of the UK's local roads, "UK Pothole Statistics & Trends 2024" delves into the escalating issue of pothole prevalence and the resultant surge in repair efforts. This comprehensive analysis not only scrutinises the breakdowns and incidents directly attributable to potholes but also sheds light on the government initiatives and funding aimed at mitigating this growing concern. In addition to examining the newly implemented regulations and street works, the article offers an in-depth comparison of pothole statistics across various UK locations.

Pothole Prevalence and Repair Efforts

  • On average, there are around six potholes per mile on council-controlled roads in England and Wales as of 2023.
  • In the financial year of 2021/22, there were a reported 556,658 potholes in England.
  • Between 2022 and 2023, 1.4 million potholes were filled in England and Wales, down from 1.7 million the year before.
  • Over one million potholes are estimated to exist on UK roads as of 2023.

Breakdowns and Pothole-Related Incidents

  • The RAC patrols attended more than 8,100 pothole breakdowns between April and June 2023, the highest number in five years.
  • From July to September 2023, RAC patrols went to the rescue of 5,978 drivers for damage likely caused by potholes, 580 more than the previous third-quarter high of 5,398 recorded in 2013.
  • In the first quarter of 2021, the RAC recorded its highest number of pothole call-outs in a quarter, with 14,827 drivers breaking down for that reason.
  • The AA attended more than 52,000 pothole-related breakdowns in April 2023, a 29% increase compared to the same time last year.
  • The first four months of 2023 saw pothole breakdowns rise by a quarter (23%) compared to last year.
  • The RAC Pothole Index has now increased to 1.7 in 2023, which means motorists are nearly twice as likely to break down due to potholes than they were 17 years ago.
  • Total cost of pothole damage repairs for British drivers: £1.7 billion in 2023.
  • Average repair bill per driver affected by pothole damage in 2023: £127.
  • Number of cars forced off the road due to pothole damage in 2023: Nearly 2.7 million.
  • Number of drivers who suffered damage to their cars after hitting a pothole in 2023: Over 13 million.
  • The increase in total burden on British motorists due to pothole damage since 2013: More than doubled (121% increase).

Government Initiatives and Funding

  • The UK government has allocated £5 billion to address pothole issues until 2025.
  • The government is investing over £5.5 billion by 2025 in highways maintenance.
  • The government is investing more than £5.5 billion between 2020 and 2025 into highways maintenance, including the Potholes Fund and an extra £200 million announced at the Budget 2023.
  • As a part of the £5.5 billion investment, local authorities can plan effectively for managing their roads, which is enough to fill millions of potholes, repair dozens of bridges, and resurface roads.

New Regulations and Street Works

  • From 1 April 2023, new regulations will ensure utility companies resurface roads to the best possible standard after street works, potentially preventing thousands of potholes from developing.
  • The average failure rate for street works by utility companies is currently 9%, with some of the worst performers failing inspections by as much as 63%.
  • The new “street works regime” assesses utility companies based on the quality of their road repairs after carrying out street works.
  • Companies that leave behind roads in poor condition could see 100% of their street works inspected.
  • The new street works regime focuses on telecom companies, which are responsible for nearly 13% of poor street work repairs.

Pothole Stats by UK Location

  • Stoke-on-Trent had the highest average monthly Google searches related to potholes, indicating a high level of concern among residents.
  • London ranks 15th out of 20 major UK cities in terms of pothole complaints, which suggests better road conditions than might be expected.
  • Other cities like Bristol, Wolverhampton, and Nottingham also featured prominently in terms of pothole-related searches.
  • Northumberland had over 180,000 potholes reported, the highest number among UK areas, with a high rate of repair as well.
  • Other areas with a significant number of reported potholes include Cornwall, Kirklees, and Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Liverpool spent just under £250 million on road maintenance between April 2018 and March 2021, the highest among English and Welsh councils.
  • In contrast, councils like Greenwich and Barking and Dagenham spent much less on road maintenance.

As we conclude our comprehensive analysis in "UK Pothole Statistics & Trends 2024," it's clear that the issue of potholes remains a persistent and costly problem for British motorists. From the staggering financial impacts to the distressing number of vehicles damaged, this article has highlighted the pressing need for improved road maintenance and proactive measures. 

To ensure you stay informed with the most current data, we'll be regularly updating this article. We encourage you to save and revisit it, and feel free to use these statistics for your own website or research – just remember to link back to us as a courtesy!

For those seeking further insights into the world of automotive care and maintenance, check out: UK Car Maintenance Stats. This resource offers a wealth of information similar to what we've discussed here, providing an in-depth look into various aspects of car maintenance and the latest industry trends.