Station Road in Scholes, east of Leeds, has the dubious honour of being the worst road in Britain according to a recent survey commissioned by Continental Tyres.
The survey based its findings on a number of criteria, including the size and quantity of potholes, the potential danger to road users and vehicles, the number of complaints to local authorities and the time span of its disrepair. The findings were verified by campaigning organization “fillthathole”.
It seems the competition was quite tough. Other “stars” featured in the report were Castle Street, Renfrewshire which boasts hundreds of metres of potholes and bumps, Scotforth Rd in Lancaster where motorists are forced to swerve into oncoming traffic by a plethora of sunken manhole covers and potholes, and Mill Ave, Hillingdon which has numerous potholes measuring half a metre across.
The condition of Britain’s roads is of increasing concern. A recent survey by the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance group (ALARM) revealed that there are over a million potholes in our roads, and these badly maintained roads are costing motorists £2.8 million a year for repairs to damaged vehicles. Repairing our roads and bringing them up to an acceptable standard would cost over £1 billion, and maintenance work is 11 years behind schedule. In the last six months the “fillthathole” web-site has received 4,217 hazard reports concerning dangerous roads.
A report by the British Tyre Manufacturers Association, released in 2003, stated that impact damage was the second biggest cause for the early removal of tyres. Continental Tyres state that the volume of tyres returned to them because of impact damage has increased by 60 percent since 2001. A spokesman for the company said, “Road conditions have a huge effect on the performance and safety of tyres. Impact with pothole edges or sunken grates can cause severe tyre damage which could lead to dangerous blow-outs on the road”.