Researchers have revealed the shocking extent of the nation’s pothole problem, with 1,031,787 being reported to officials last year.
All of these combined would create a pothole 24 miles deep – more than four times the size of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the world’s oceans.
The issue is at its worse in Scotland, with drivers north of the border forced to tackle a combined 6,364meters of potholes last year.
Filling the driving hazard can cause havoc with a local authorities budget – with Westminster City Council forking out the most of taxpayer’s cash per pothole with an average of £2,400.
But Wiltshire council paid out the most overall across the year, spending £508,000 in total.
Earlier this month it emerged one council paid out a whopping £1.8million of taxpayer cash in a single pothole claim.
The eye-watering figure was awarded in compensation after an accident involving a pothole on one of its roads.
Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request show during the 2016-17 financial year, a massive £2,137,167 was spent by Somerset County Council.
And the shocking figure does not include legal fees incurred by the authority.
The staggering payout was one of 31 compensation claims Somerset County Council awarded in the 2016-17 financial year.
The largest compensation – £1,836,000 – was awarded after “general damages to a third party following an accident involving a pothole defect”.
The council told the Somerset County Gazette that, because of legal reasons, it could not give further details.
County councils across the UK are responsible for maintaining highways within their boundaries, but 2015 research by insurance firm Liverpool Victoria estimated there were more than 30,000 un-repaired potholes on British roads.
It comes as the Government tells highway officials to cut down on motorway closure times after it was revealed traffic on main roads costs the UK economy £9billion a year.
Transport minister Jesse Norman has written to Highways England, which oversees the nation’s motorways and A roads, to demand the system is stepped up.
But officials at the agency defended their work on the nation’s roads.
Spokeswoman Mel Clarke said: “In our first two years, we met our target to clear 85 per cent of all incidents on our network within an hour and last year exceeded our target to keep 97 per cent of lanes available to road users to help smooth the flow of traffic.
“We will continue to ensure roads are reopened safely but as quickly as possible.”
Source : EXPRESS