Pothole problem hits new depths

Scottish roads have more potholes than any other area in the UK, and Fife is second top in Scotland's league.
Scottish roads have more potholes than any other area in the UK, and Fife is second top in Scotland's league.

Fife has the second worst pothole tally in Scotland, but the lowest payout in compensation.

The well-cratered Kingdom lies just behind the City of Edinburgh with the number of potholes reported – a staggering 29,188.

And according to figures obtained through a freedom of information request by Confused.com, Fife Council has spent £975,000 on repairs but has only had to fork out £519 in compensation.

Top of the pothole premiership Edinburgh has had over 35,000 reported and paid out over £689,000 in compensation.

In 2016, Scotland’s councils spent a whopping £26,830,077 repairing potholes. They also spent a combined sum of £226,238 to compensate drivers for damage to cars caused by potholes.

And Scotland’s road-rattling record has hit disturbing depths, and, as the cold weather starts to set in, more and more potholes may start to appear – a dreaded issue for both drivers and local councils.

A total of 154,310 potholes were reported to the Scottishcouncils in 2016 – more than in any other UK region.

Each local authority was asked for the minimum depth of a road defect to be considered a pothole, and this figure was aggregated against the total number to reveal a depth of over 6km (6,364m).

That means adding up the road ruts takes drivers passed iconic recorded depths such as the bottom of the English Channel (174m), Loch Ness (230m), and the Mediterranean Sea (5,270m).

Nationally, Britain passes the Mariana Trench (11km) and the world’s deepest man-made hole (12.3km) into the Earth’s upper mantle (30km) before arriving at the combined depth of the UK’s 1,033,486 potholes. This is over 40 km deep and 3.7 times the depth of the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean.

Having this many potholes can be a very costly job for councils, as they fork out for repairs, as well as compensation to victims of damage caused by the craters in the road: a third of motorists in the UK say their car has been damaged by a pothole.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “Depths of more than 40km really put into perspective just how deep the UK’s pothole problem really is.

“They are a major bugbear among drivers, not least because of the damage they do to our vehicles – around £3.1 million worth of damage, which has been paid out by almost half of the UK’s councils.

“If drivers experience a bump in the road, they should report it to their local council as soon as possible before the problem gets any worse.

“The cost of motoring alone is getting more and more expensive and damage repairs is a big contributor to this, as car parts increase in price as well.

A scrolling animation of Scotland’s pothole problem can be found at www.confused.com/