This post was first published by My London on 11/03/2019.
The number of potholes reported in each London borough in 2018
In Ealing there were 5,195 potholes reported, while in Kensington and Chelsea there were only 35.
Potholes cause fear for all drivers. You spot one at the last second but it is too late to dodge it and you squirm as you anticipate how loud a “thud” there will be as your car hit it.
Whether you’re a driver worried about the damage they might cause to your car, or a resident concerned about the state of your road, potholes are simply a nuisance.
And figures released on Monday (March 11) show just how many have been annoying Londoners.
Staggeringly, there were more than 49,000 potholes reported to local authorities between the start of December 2017 and end of November 2018 – which is a 33% increase on the year before (37,104).
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by law firm JMW Solicitors also shows that the number of reported potholes in some boroughs has increased by up to 172% over the same period. Boroughs with the largest percentage increase in reported potholes include Redbridge (+172%), Islington (+151%), Harrow (+116%), and the combined borough of Richmond and Wandsworth (+100%).
The top three worst affected boroughs for potholes reported in the period were Ealing (5,195), Lewisham (4,698) and Croydon (3,791). In the same time period, Kensington and Chelsea received just 35 pothole complaints.
Hammersmith and Fulham was the only borough to see an improvement in the number of reported potholes when comparing years, with the number dropping by 37% from 359 to 225.
No information was made available for Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Hillingdon and Lambeth.
Paul Breen, partner at JMW and head of catastrophic injury, believes potholes pose a serious risk to life to motorcyclist and cyclists.
“Potholes can cause serious, life-altering injuries to road users, in particular cyclists and motorcyclists,” said Mr Breen. “It is vital that these road defects are repaired to allow these road users a smooth commute.
“Unlike motorists, cyclists and motorcyclists coming across a pothole cannot simply go through it as this will most likely force the rider off their bike. However, they also cannot always just swerve around them in case they find themselves in the path of traffic.
“With cycling becoming an increasingly preferred mode of transport, it’s likely we will see the number of cycling injuries rise as well. Something that won’t be made any easier if the number of potholes continues to grow.”
He added: “Councils should be conducting regular checks to identify any potential hazards and ensure any defects are repaired within a reasonable amount of time.
“If the council fails in its 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 the pain and suffering it has caused.”
How many potholes were reported in your borough?
This is how many potholes were reported to local authorities between December 2017 and November 2018:
Barking and Dagenham – N/A
Barnet – 2,181
Bexley – 2,083
Brent – 3,698
Bromley – 3,724
Camden – 98
City of London – 279
Croydon – 3,791
Ealing – 5,195
Enfield – 3,771
Greenwich – 683
Hackney – 2,153
Hammersmith & Fulham – 225
Haringey – 1,152
Harrow – 789
Havering – N/A
Hillingdon – N/A
Hounslow – 1,345
Islington – 223
Kensington & Chelsea – 35
Kingston – 1,812
Lambeth – N/A
Lewisham – 4,698
Merton – 915
Newham – 2,954
Redbridge – 1,152
Richmond & Wandsworth – 888
Southwark – 1,274
Sutton – 309
Tower Hamlets – 954
Waltham Forest – 1,627
Westminster – 1,578