According to new research from the RAC local authorities received reports about over half a million potholes last year.

Obtained via Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to 212 separate councils responsible for the upkeep of roads in Britain the RAC have revealed more than 512,000 potholes were reported to the 161 authorities who responded.

This figure is an increase of 44 per cent on the 2015 figure of 356,000 potholes from 152 councils.

When taking into account the councils who did not respond, the RAC says the increase in pothole reports over two years is 33 per cent.

Damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels are among the most common vehicle problems caused by potholes.

“Our own analysis of breakdown data shows the damage suffered by motorists is a constant source of frustration and expense, but the scale of the problem is obviously far greater than the numbers show,” said RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes.

“Perhaps motorists are more inclined to report pothole defects than they were a few years ago, but we believe the sheer size of the increase is further proof the condition of our roads is worsening.”

He added that the figures are “just the tip of the iceberg” as thousands of potholes go unreported every year.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said, “Potholes are a huge problem for all road users and the Government is taking action, providing local authorities with more than £6.5 billion for roads maintenance and pothole repair in the six years to 2021.”

Reporting a pothole

For potholes on roads looked after by Swindon Borough Council you can report them easily by using FixMyStreet.

FixMyStreet make it quick and easy for you to report a pothole or other street problem such as street or traffic lights not working, obstructions and broken pavements and you even get to track the status of your report.

If the pothole you want to report is on a motorway or major A-road in England, it’s currently best to contact Highways England on 0300 123 5000 or email


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