Holy moly! Potholes increase by 500% in York

Photograph: Matt RF Webb on Wikipedia

The number of potholes in York reported by residents increased by nearly 500 per cent in the spring of 2018.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal there were 900 pothole reports to City of York Council in March 2018 – more than the total number of potholes reported between March and December the previous year.

Between March, April and May 2017, the council received 284 reports of potholes. The following spring, it received 1,677 – a 490 per cent increase.

James Gilchrist, assistant director of transport at the council, said:

  • During 2018, we received significantly more reports from members of the public than in 2017.

    This is as a result of the severe weather conditions during the Beast from the East.

    We were given £1 million in November 2018 from the Department for Transport to help repair our roads and in addition are now trialling new ways of quickly filling holes.

24-hour fix

The Beast from the East is blamed. Photograph: Sky Filming
The council has also confirmed it aims to fix the worst potholes within 24 hours.

But a study by the RAC Foundation found that some councils fix potholes within 30 minutes, while most local authorities aimed to fix major defects within two hours.

Mr Gilchrist said on many occasions City of York Council repairs potholes much faster than within the 24 hour timescale.

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said while the increase in pothole numbers could be down to drivers being more motivated to report them, the quality of roads could also be declining.

He said:

  • Like all councils, York is having to make some tough choices on spending and that is likely to be at the expense of road maintenance.

    What the council needs is a guarantee from central Government of ring-fenced, longer term funding that would allow it to get on top of the pothole problem.

    Sadly, for now at least there is little sign of this happening.