The Square Mile has the UK's least potholey roads, it turns out

 
Oliver Gill
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Added together, Britain's potholes would reach a depth of more than 40km (Source: Getty)

Want to drive on pothole-free roads? Then London's financial district is the place to be, council figures released today reveal.

Just 123 potholes were reported in 2016, according to figures obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, equivalent to a depth of only two metres.

The City spent £174,960 fixing potholes, and, in a trend that has been repeated for the last four years, the local council has repaired every single pothole and not had to pay out a penny in compensation to drivers.

Individual London councils are responsible for the upkeep of the majority of roads. But when added together, there were 42,615 potholes were reported across Greater London, with councils spending £7.8m on repairs and £98,353 on compensation.

Meanwhile, many commuters into the Square Mile may drive on the worst roads in England. Some 31,104 potholes were reported in Surrey over the last year. The county council actually repaired more than the number of reported, some 41,556, a function of the 44,062 that were reported in 2015.

The figures, obtained by price comparison site Confused.com, reveal Surrey County Council spent £3.2m in 2016 filling in potholes. In the same year, it spent £343,685 in compensation to drivers whose cars had been damaged.

Read more: Study reveals how much potholes are costing you

Added together, Britain's potholes are more than 40km deep, almost four times the depth of the Pacific Ocean.

Amanda Stretton of Confused.com said such a statistic "puts into perspective just how deep the UK’s pothole problem really is".

However, local governments hit back, with the Local Government Association (LGA) saying councils "share the frustration of motorists".

LGA spokesperson Martin Tett said: “Councils are fixing 1.75 million potholes a year – one every 19 seconds, which breaks down to an average of more than 10,400 per local authority. This is despite significant funding cuts leaving them with less to spend on fixing our local roads.

But it would take more than a decade and £12bn to tackle our current roads repair backlog.

Only with adequate funding from central government can local authorities deliver roads for the 21st century.

Read more: Councils warn we've reached the "tipping point" of pothole repair

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