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Potholes in the UK: Data Hub

Potholes can make cycling a very stressful experience and can cause cyclists serious injury or even death if an accident occurs . There are millions of potholes reported every year in the UK, so in this article, we are going to be investigating the key statistics surrounding potholes and accidents relating to potholes in the UK.

To discover the key statistics about potholes, at Cycle SOS, we have conducted our own research as well as collecting data from trusted sources which will be included and referenced throughout this collection of figures.

Potholes in the UK

The amount of potholes in the UK is a very serious issue, with figures showing that local authorities within the UK receive a request to fix a pothole every 46 seconds and there has been almost £1 billion spent fixing roads across the country.

The number of potholes that were filled in England and Wales between 2020/2021 was 1.7 million which was a jump from 2019/2020 in which the amount that were filled were 1. 5 million. In 2020/2021, filling 1.7 million potholes is the equivalent of one pothole being repaired every 19 seconds.

The average number of potholes that are filled per local authority in the UK are as follows:

  • England – 13,298 per local authority
  • London – 2,634 per local authority
  • Wales – 3,967 per local authority

Potholes are a major problem in the UK and can cost a lot of money. The total cost of filling potholes in 2020/2021 was £93.6 million.

According to the government, the number of surface defects that were reported to Highways England between 2015-2019 rose by 8,115 with the number surface defects reported between 2015-2019 being as follows:

                        Year                                          Number of Incidents            













The worst city for potholes in the UK

Researchers at Cycle SOS have investigated the Google searches for phrases such as “pothole complaint” and “pothole complaint letter” over the past year and then have cross referenced the numbers with the estimated number of locals in each major UK city. This then allowed us to discover which city looks to make the highest proportion of pothole complaints. This data indicates that Nottingham residents make the most complaints regarding potholes.

Where in the UK makes the highest proportion of pothole complaints?  

UK City 






















Due to Nottingham being ranked in position number 1 as the UK city which makes the highest proportion of pothole complaints, we have looked at the statistics surrounding potholes in Nottinghamshire.

In Nottinghamshire, there are a high number of potholes being reported every year:

  •  In 2017 there were 72,731 potholes reported
  •  In 2018 there were 119,270 potholes reported
  •  In 2019 there were 94,460 potholes reported
  •  In 2020 there were 90,681 potholes reported

Between 2017 and 2019, there were 298,386 potholes repaired and 73,828 of these repairs were prompted by complaints.

As a result of this, between 2017 and 2019, Nottinghamshire council had to spend a significant amount of money fixing potholes:

  • In 2017 they spent £5,301,929.77
  • In 2018 they spent £5,395,328.15
  • In 2019 they spent £3,641,083.96

Cycling accidents involving potholes

Potholes can be a serious danger for cyclists, with a survey of over a thousand road users showing that 21% of UK cyclists have been involved in an accident because of a pothole. Out of these accidents, 22% of them resulted in a personal injury.

The survey also found that 88% of cyclists have had to perform a dangerous manoeuvre due to a road defect and 63% of cyclists have obtained damage to their bicycle as a result of a road defect.

When a cyclist has been involved in an accident due to a pothole, they may be entitled to make a claim and the average claim for a cyclist that has been involved in an accident relating to a pothole is £8,825.93.

Other findings from a survey suggest that 46% of cyclists see more than 15 potholes on their daily journey and 69% say that their cycling journey is disrupted because of the potholes.

Summary of statistics

From the research that we have conducted, combined with the research from other trusted sources, we can conclude that potholes are a serious problem in the UK and that they are causing a significant amount of potential danger to cyclists. If you have suffered an injury from a pothole then please visit our Cyclist Potholes Claim Page to find out more Information.


Data was taken from Google Keyword planner, between the date ranges Dec 2021 and Nov 2022, for the following terms:

  • Pothole report
  • Pothole complaint
  • Pothole repair
  • Repair potholes
  • Pothole complaint letter

Google’s estimated reach was used to calculate the number of locals in the area using Google, and the keyword data was cross referenced with this to uncover where in the UK makes the highest proportion of pothole complaints, relevant to the size of the city.

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