West Sussex potholes - amazing overall depth revealed

The total depth of all the potholes in West Sussex is 441m, more than five times the height of Chichester Cathedral, according to a new report.

Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 1:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 1:16 pm
Pothole concerns revealed

A new scrolling animation drills down to the truth depth of the UK’s pothole problem - the South East has the deepest pothole problem, stretching almost 5km.

New Freedom of Information data obtained by Confused.com reveals 905,172 potholes were flagged up to councils across the UK in 2017/18, compared to 887,351 the previous year.

This works out as almost 2,500 potholes reported per day that year to local authorities, on average.

To visualise just how far this problem goes, Confused.com has created a scrolling animation, which dives through the UK’s potholes to reveal a total depth of 33km.

The animation allows users to scroll past iconic recorded depths – such as the English Channel (174m), the Mariana Trench (11km) and the world’s deepest man-made hole (12.3km).

Users must scroll all the way into the Earth’s upper mantle (30km) before arriving at the UK’s combined pothole depth, which is three times the depth of the Mariana Trench.

The scale of the UK’s pothole problem has not gone unnoticed by motorists, as further research conducted by Confused.com found more than a third (34%) of UK drivers have suffered damage to their vehicle as a result of poor road conditions.

And, according to Confused.com, it seems February is the most prolific month for this, as more than one in seven (15%) incidents occurred during this time of year.

Most of the damage reported was to the vehicle’s tyres (53%), while more than a quarter (26%) said hitting the pothole caused damaged to their suspension, which can be quite costly to fix. This could explain why local authorities have had to fork out more than £2.8 million to compensate victims of pothole damage in one year (2017/18).

But not all motorists are turning to their local council to help pay for the repairs, as only one in five (23%) tried to claim compensation for the damage they received from hitting a pothole.

Instead, many motorists are most likely forking out to pay for the damage themselves, or not repairing it at all.

Perhaps this is because more than a fifth (22%) of drivers are confused about their rights to claim for pothole damage.

To clear up this confusion, Confused.com has created a guide for motorists to take them through the process and when they are able to make a legitimate claim. If the council feels it has failed in its duty to maintain the road, they may be willing to cover the cost of repairing the damage(3), which in turn may save motorists potentially hundreds of pounds at a time when motoring is already very expensive.

However, this is not the only expense which has costed councils. In fact, says Confused.com, they spent almost £193 million in the same year repairing more than one million potholes or road surfaces, which equates to £169 per pothole, on average.

But for some motorists this figure is not enough. In fact, more than a third (37%) of UK motorists are confused why councils are not spending more to repair roads, given the amount of money they receive in fines. Although, in the last Autumn Budget(4), an additional £420m was given to councils in England to tackle potholes, but only two thirds (66%) of motorists think this is a good use of public money.

It is clear the issue is far more prolific in some regions, and users scroll to the true depth of the pothole problem in their area using the animation’s regional view.

Those living in South East England may or may not be surprised to learn that it is the most prolific region in the UK when it comes to potholes, with more than 122,000 reported to local authorities in 2017/18.

However, it seems the issue goes further than this, as councils in the region tackled more than those reported, with 143,000 potholes being repaired in the same time period, costing them more than £12 million.