Drivers in South Tyneside are reporting four potholes a day as council bosses struggle to keep pace with road repairs, new data has revealed.
According to figures gathered by the RAC in a freedom of information request, South Tyneside saw pothole reports balloon between 2014 and last year.
Over the four-year period, 5,425 potholes were reported in the borough – roughly four every day.
In 2014 there were 994 potholes reported, with that figure rising to 1,053 in 2015, 1,839 in 2016 and dropping to 1,539 in 2017.
In recent years, South Tyneside Council has been given extra Government cash to improve roads - including an extra £686,000 for those on residential estates.
But the council’s, lead member for area management and community safety, Coun Nancy Maxwell, said it continues to face challenges in keeping roads up to scratch.
She said: “We know how important road maintenance is for local people which is why we are doing all we can to improve them.
“Potholes are only one element of a wider issue.
“Unprecedented year on year cuts from central government mean that the highways network in South Tyneside is facing a backlog of £69m to bring roads up to standard.”
She added: “We’re not alone. Central government has left the burden of managing an ageing road infrastructure with local councils whilst reducing the funding they need to deliver lasting improvements.
“The extreme winter weather of recent years has also caused much damage to road surfaces with unusually high numbers of potholes reported.”
Under council rules, potholes are repaired within 24 hours or ten days after being identified depending on their location and severity.
South Tyneside Council have stressed they will continue works to improve roads and reduce risk to highway users in the borough.
Coun Maxwell added: “We also seek to get best value for money by using alternative materials where appropriate to prolong the life of our road surfaces.
“We also attract millions of pounds of additional investment for infrastructure projects such as Lindisfarne Roundabout and the Arches junction improvements.”
According to the RAC data, around 1.7 million potholes were reported across Britain between 2014 – 2017.
Factoring in councils who failed to provide data, the insurance and breakdown firm believe the figure could stretch to £2.4 million over the same period.
And in 2017 alone, more than half a million potholes were reported, an increase of 44 per cent from 2015.
RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: “It’s shocking to see the number of reported potholes in Britain has risen by nearly 50 per cent in two years.
“Our own analysis of breakdown data shows the damage suffered by motorists is a constant source of frustration and expense, but the scale of the problem is obviously far greater than the numbers show.”
To report potholes to South Tyneside Council visit: portal.southtyneside.info/eservices/frmFindReportIt.aspx
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service