London sees 15,000 fall in number of reported potholes

The number of potholes being reported in London has decreased by over 15,000 in the last year, according to research carried out by personal injury specialists at JMW Solicitors.

The biggest decrease was in Lewisham, where the number of reported potholes fell from 4,698 to 1,719, a decrease of 63%.

Lewisham was followed closely by Brent, which saw a 55% drop, from 3,698 to 1,666, and a 48% reduction in Camden, which went from 98 in the previous year down to just 51 potholes.

Paul Breen, head of catastrophic injury from the JMW personal injury team, said: “It is very encouraging to see that councils are beginning to take the issue of potholes seriously and keep the carriageways clear of any issues. However, most of the gains made in the last 12 months went towards correcting the increase from 2017 to 2018.

“Most people think of potholes as an issue for cars and car owners, but these types of issues can cause serious, and life-changing injuries to all road users, particularly cyclists and motorcyclists. As more and more start looking for alternatives to taking the car, it’s vital that councils ensure the road surfaces are well maintained.

“It is the council’s responsibility to maintain the roads in their constituency so that cyclists, motorcyclists and other road users can travel safely. This is a legal obligation as stated in Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980.

“Hopefully the new £2.5 billion fund to fix potholes will go a long way to getting this problem under control, but unless councils begin performing regular checks to monitor the state of road surfaces, it is up to individuals to report issues that they come across and wait for the council to come and fix them.”

Despite the figures pointing to a fall in the number of potholes in London, there are still 33,000 on roads across the capital. There was an increase in the number of potholes in nine of the 32 boroughs, causing safety concerns for the cycling community and other road users.

The region that saw the biggest increase was Islington, jumping from 223 potholes in 2018 to 603 in 2019, an increase of 170%. This followed a 151% increase from 89 in 2017.

Islington was followed by Sutton (+145%), Richmond & Wandsworth (+57%) and Hammersmith & Fulham (+29.78%).


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