Are you a pothole crisis pro? Take our quiz to find out

Road repairs required but how much do you really know about potholes (Picture iStock/Lubo Ivanko)

Every year a survey of the nation’s roads reveals a depressing picture of the country’s pothole crisis. The latest ALARM survey highlights that £17m was paid to drivers in England and Wales after their cars suffered damage from potholes.

But aside from running the gauntlet of them every time you take to the road, how much do you actually know about potholes? Take our quiz to find out. We hope you learn something about potholes in the process.


Well done. You either know a lot about potholes or you’re a very good guesser!

This was a tricky quiz, but we hope you’ve learnt something about potholes while doing it.

#1. How long would it take for all the UK’s potholes to be fixed?

At the current rate, and assuming that no potholes formed in between, it would take nine years for all the UK’s potholes to be filled.

#2. How much more money on average does each local authority need to tackle all its potholes?

Each local authority in England and Wales needs an extra £6.4 million to tackle all the potholes on its patch.

#3. Roughly how many local authorities reported a pothole funding cut or freeze for 2021/22?

Just more than a half (56 per cent) of local authorities reported that their highway maintenance budget had been frozen or cut in 2021.

#4. How much do you think it would cost to fill all the potholes in England and Wales?

The Asphalt Industry Alliance believes it would take a one-off payment of £12.6 billion to fix all the potholes on England and Wales’ roads.

#5. A pothole in England and Wales is filled every 26 seconds

The figure is actually worse than that. Last year, a pothole was filled every 19 seconds.

#6. How frequently do think roads are resurfaced on average?

Astonishingly, roads in England and Wales are only resurfaced once every 70 years on average.

#7. Which famous rock star resorted to filling in potholes himself because they were damaging his Ferrari?

It was Rod Stewart. He claimed the potholes on his road in Essex were so bad he could no longer drive his Ferrari to and from his house.

#8. How much do you think individual local authorities in England spend on road maintenance every year?

The average figure local authorities spend on roads maintenance in England annually is £32.3 million. But as well as filling potholes, that sum includes bridge maintenance, road sweeping, grass cutting, checking traffic signals and replacing roadside furniture.

#9. What percentage of roads in England are classed as being in poor condition?

Around a fifth of England’s roads (18 per cent) are classed as in poor condition. That compares with one in 10 (11 per cent) in Wales.

#10. How much do you think it costs on average to fill in a reported pothole?

The average for England and Wales, including London is £87.76. That compares to £48.50 when a pothole is filled as part of planned maintenance.


19 comments on “Are you a pothole crisis pro? Take our quiz to find out

  1. Kathleen Dosell 30/08/2022 3:19 PM

    How ever you look at it, facts or estimates, the scene is grim.

  2. David Ward 30/08/2022 4:10 PM

    You need to compare North vs South in your survey to get s true picture of road repairs

  3. Mary Pattison 30/08/2022 4:57 PM

    Interesting quiz I didn’t do very well

  4. Ian Carroll 31/08/2022 7:39 AM

    Like all drivers it would be good to see what the decision makers consider when road repairs are completed when 2rds of a road is repaired saving 1/3rd of costs and then to see the last 1/3rd replaced in 2 years later?
    If the full road had been replaced initially the movement cost of machinery twice would surely of saved the extra costs thus actually saving time and money and inconvenience to the public it also makes the drivers feel a lot better knowing the full road has been replaced correctly and stopping that future frost joint in the tarmac breaking down again.

  5. Stephen John Cooper 31/08/2022 12:15 PM

    Only 4 right answers to 10 questions. I used to be a highway maintenance engineer! Evidently I’m more pessimistic and/or cynical than the statistics indicate. Of course, the alternative explanation could be that my experience and answers are realistic, but the statistics are related to “lies, damned lies” (attributed by Mark Twain to Benjamin Disraeli).

  6. P Witham 31/08/2022 12:41 PM

    Very surprising figures.

  7. Paul Lewis 31/08/2022 1:00 PM

    What research is being done to improve or replace the materials ie Tarmac to increase its durability/ longevity? Is it the Top Coat or the prep that makes the crumble?

  8. Jim 31/08/2022 1:17 PM

    If potholes were repaired in a correct manner it would cut the number down by 90% ,
    Where I live they put asphalt in stamp it down job done first bus / lorry churns it all out .

  9. Jim 31/08/2022 1:20 PM

    Local authorities need to cut out potholes into a rectangle clean debris then emulsion with a primer before asphalt is used then rolled flat sealing ant joints with liquid tar .

  10. Reg Casbeard 31/08/2022 1:28 PM

    While talking to a council road repairman in our village, I asked him why they didn’t seal the edges of newly filled potholes. If this isn’t done the rain water gets into the repair and when frozen in the winter breaks up the newly filled pothole. His answer was health and safty. They aren’t allowed now to seal the edges because the surface is slippery, it seems cyclist and motorcyclist slip on the surface in the wet. So we fill the potholes and after the winter we fill them again, sounds like a money maker for someone.

  11. Diana Christian 31/08/2022 6:28 PM

    I live on an unadopted road with a pothole that birds queue up to bath in! How could I go about getting it fixed?

    • Nei 01/09/2022 9:25 PM

      Get all your neighbours to agree to share the cost from a local contractor.

    • Anthony Baugh 05/09/2022 8:20 AM

      We are in the same situation. Our local authority said we have to do it ourselves they are not responsible for unadopted roads.

  12. Jenny 01/09/2022 7:50 AM

    It’s an unadopted road so the council do not fix it. You do it yourself or hire someone to do it.

  13. Raz Amataz 01/09/2022 2:19 PM

    If Local Authorities stopped sending surveyors to measure, record, risk assess and mark potholes and instead sent a bloke with a shovel, bag of tarmac and a rammers I’m sure a lot more potholes would get sorted.

  14. g white 02/09/2022 8:08 AM

    Complain direct to government ministers get there contact details off the internet, tell them they will be held to account if any one is injured , If they say its not a public road inform them that any council vehicles using the road will be charged plus business till all potholes are repaired.Find out the relevant details of ownership.

  15. james barlow 02/09/2022 9:53 AM

    mind blowing statistics

  16. D BAMFORD 05/09/2022 3:17 PM

    Local authorities don’t care about unadopted roads, they say that they are not there concern. Looks like yourself, or community if the road is shared. Good Luck.

  17. R Munslow 14/09/2022 11:39 AM

    You seem to have got number #7 wrong, I am pretty sure it was ROD STEWART. I agree that there should be a better way, somehow, to repair the surfaces these days. Laying tarmac seems to be a lost skill given that it rarely lasts longer than twelve months.

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