An increasing rise in potholes on UK’s roads is endangering the lives of cyclists and motorcyclists in danger, according to a report by law firm JMW Solicitors.

The study revealed that the volume of UK’s pothole complaints in certain areas has risen by up to 172% in 2018 from the same period in 2017.

The condition of national roads is reportedly worsening, despite the UK DfT allocating approximately £6bn for the maintenance. The budget also includes a dedicated £296m ‘pothole action fund’.

According to the report, the pothole count in London currently exceeds 49,000, an increase of 33% compared to the same period in the previous year.

Covid-19 Report — Updated twice a week Understanding the Covid-19 outbreak, the economic impact and implications for specific sectors

Covid-19 executive briefing report cover

Our parent business intelligence company

Redbridge borough reported a rise of more than 172% of complaints, with 151% in Islington, and 116% for Harrow. The combined borough of Richmond and Wandsworth registered more than 100% increase in potholes.

Lewisham (4,698), Croydon (3,791) and Enfield (3,771) are worst affected boroughs, while Chelsea and Kensington received only 35 pothole complaints during the same period.

“The number of people cycling to work has increased exponentially, yet the state of the roads is, quite simply, putting lives at risk.”

The study indicated that Manchester witnessed a 6% overall increase in potholes while the city centre was the worst affected area with a 90% rise in potholes, jumping from 931 to 1,771.

Other badly affected areas of Greater Manchester include Bury (681) and Stockport (643) and Trafford (683).

JMW Solicitors catastrophic injury head Paul Breen said: “Potholes frequently cause serious, life-changing injuries to cyclists and motorcyclists, yet despite concerted efforts by the government and health agencies to coax people out of their cars, it appears there’s very little investment to back up the rhetoric.

“The number of people cycling to work has increased exponentially, yet the state of the roads is, quite simply, putting lives at risk.

“Councils should be conducting regular checks to identify potential hazards and ensure any defects are repaired within a reasonable amount of time. If the council fail in their duty to maintain and repair roads and pavements, and someone suffers an injury due to a pothole or other road defect, they are entitled to make a claim for compensation.”

The study was carried out using data provided by and FOI requests.