Council chiefs have been successfully targeting road repairs with multi-million pound funding and hi-tech equipment and systems, despite a survey’s claims that Derbyshire was recently recorded as having the most potholes in the UK.
Mac’s Trucks Rental Pothole Analysis Report survey dubbed Derbyshire as the ‘pothole county of the UK’ after ranking the county as the region with the most recorded potholes, from last year, in the UK - claiming that the county had 90,596 potholes during that time.
It alo claimed that there was a significant gap between Derbyshire and its second ranked worst area, Lancashire, which was recorded as having had 67,439 potholes last year, and in third place, Northumberland, was recorded as having had 51,703 potholes.
Councillor Charlotte Cupit, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Assets and Transport, said last year the council fixed 100,000 potholes and as of August 20, 2023, has filled over 67,000 potholes.
She added: “We’re up against bigger challenges than we’ve ever faced previously with wetter and more extreme weather conditions, as shown by issues such as the high number of landslips we’re currently managing across the county.”
County Council Leader, Conservative Councillor Barry Lewis, has also argued that the council’s recording system for potholes includes minor roads unlike other local authorities’ records, which produces unfair statistics.
An independent media outlet survey, in March 2023, with Compare the Market data, claimed Derbyshire County Council was the fourth worst local authority in the UK for pothole repairs with allegedly 71 per cent of its roads in need of repairs, at that time.
But, in May 2023, the council confirmed it had fixed as many as 42,036 potholes between January and May 2023, and a national survey revealed that the local authority has recently fixed more potholes than any other highways authority in the country.
This followed research from the Bill Plant Driving School that claimed Derbyshire was the county with the largest percentage of A-roads and motorways in a poor condition and requiring maintenance.
Councillor Cupit added: “Last year we fixed 100,000 potholes and as of August 20 we’ve filled over 67,000 potholes.
“Given the exceptionally wet summer we have been repairing more potholes in our roads at a time when we’d expect to see reports fall, but, as the above statistics show, we are working hard to try and rise to these challenges. I thank all our highways staff for the efforts they are making.
“We therefore don’t agree with the Compare the Market or Mac’s Trucks data or their conclusions. The pothole statistics above show we are pushing to fill an extraordinary number of potholes each year, and this can sometimes be misinterpreted.
“The data between authorities also isn’t comparabale as recognised by the Department for Transport and doesn’t give an accurate picture. The Derbyshire data, unlike other council areas, includes many miles of minor B and C roads, as well as motorways and A roads, which are looked after by National Highways, not us.”
Jon Cooper, Local Democracy Reporter, Buxton Advertiser, 5 October 2023