Sunderland City Council has received more than 2,700 reports of potholes over the last four years, new figures have revealed.
According to data gathered by the RAC in a freedom of information request (FOI) to councils, Sunderland saw an overall rise in reports over the 2014-2017 period.
To break that down; in 2014 there were 568 potholes reported, with that figure dropping to 474 in 2015, shooting up to 852 in 2016 and dropping to 820 in 2017.
Despite the recent dip, data shows there has been a 44 per cent increase in pothole reports from 2014 to 2017.
Council bosses have stressed highways improvements are a priority with plans to invest an extra £15 million into roads and bridges in coming years.
And the recent announcement of extra council funding from government for road maintenance is expected to boost works to road repairs.
However, cabinet member for environment and transport, Coun Amy Wilson, has stressed funding issues still present challenges in carrying out works.
“Managing, improving and investing in our highways network continues to be one of the council’s priorities,” she said.
“In October (2018), the chancellor announced £420million of national funding for road maintenance and our allocation of £1.46million will be used on road repairs and resurfacing in coming months.
“In addition, as part of its budget proposals, the council is looking to invest an extra £15million in its highway assets, including bridges, over the next four years.
“Although the new government funding was very welcome, and the council has received similar grant funding in the past, it is no substitute for the reductions that highways and other council budgets have endured because of Government austerity programmes.”
Following a report of a pothole, Sunderland City Council carries out an inspection which determines whether a repair is needed.
If it passes the test, officers aim to make repairs within 24 hours and generally consider repairs on a pothole when it is at least 4 centimeters deep.
However, other factors such as the location, type of road and position of the pothole /defect are also considered.
According to the RAC data, around 1.7 million potholes were reported across Britain between 2014 – 2017.
Factoring in councils who failed to provide data, the insurance firm believe the figure could stretch to £2.4 million over the same period.
And in 2017 alone, more than half a million potholes were reported, an increase of 44 per cent from 2015.
RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: “It’s shocking to see the number of reported potholes in Britain has risen by nearly 50 per cent in two years.
“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.”
To report potholes to Sunderland City Council, call 0191 520 5550 or visit: www.sunderland.gov.uk/article/12435/Road-pavements-and-surfaces-in-need-of-repair-including-pot-holes
Pothole reports to Sunderland City Council
(Source: RAC Freedom of Information Request 2018)
2014 – 568
2015 – 474
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service