Cornwall has been named the pothole capital of the UK with 210,000 reported over the course of three years – but Lancashire has staked a claim for Britain’s worst crater with a five-foot pit deep enough to fit a grown man inside.
Aron Cross, who owns Parson Lee Farm Glamping, reported a hole in Keighley Road, Wycoller, to Lancashire County Council’s Highway department a year ago.
But when officials inspected the site recently they found no trace of the pothole and left without fixing it, Mr Cross told MailOnline.
Meanwhile, Freedom of Information requests to 408 local authorities in the UK – 343 in England, 32 in Scotland, 22 in Wales and 11 in Northern Ireland – found that Cornwall Council had the most potholes reported to it.
But Lancashire could bag a win for the country’s worst pothole as a photograph of Mr Cross’ six-foot son Lewis, 27, showed how he fit inside it.
Lancashire could bag a win for having the country’s worst pothole as a photograph of Aron Cross’ son Lewis shows him inside it up to his shoulders. Six-foot Lewis, 27, stood on a rock to be seen in this picture
Mr Cross, who owns Parson Lee Farm Glamping, reported a hole in Keighley Road (pictured), Wycoller, to Lancashire County Council’s Highway department a year ago
Mr Cross said: ‘If it was happening to someone else it would be hilarious but it is happening to me.
‘My Glamping busineses is all about happiness but I have customers turning up with bits of their car in their hand.
‘If people are camping they will spend the afternoon at the site and go to the pub in the evening, but if they step into the hole they’ve had it. You can put you hand and arm under the road it’s so damaged.
‘It’s dangerous and getting more dangerous and it is because there’s a history of them not doing anything that we are in this position.’
He said a tree root smashed the wheel of his car causing £300-worth of damage and ‘protruding bedrock’ destroyed the side of his partner’s. Pictured, the side of the road has fallen away and there is space underneath to fit an arm
When officials inspected the site recently they found no trace of the pothole and left without fixing it, Mr Cross told MailOnline, but his son Lewis (pictured) can fit inside it
Mr Cross’ dog Barney is pictured next to a section of the road that slipped away after recent flooding in the area
He said a tree root smashed the wheel of his car causing £300-worth of damage and ‘protruding bedrock’ destroyed the side of his partner’s – but added that both claims to the council were rejected.
‘A tree root smashed the wheel and the side of my car. I’ve had punctures and bits and pieces but I’ve had enough. I put a legitimate claim in and they refused after three months. They said there was no way wood could damage metal,’ he added.
‘The council refused to pay and it cost me £300. Shortly after my partner hit a stone on the road and she damaged her alloy wheel.’
Meanwhile, workers painted the areas white but the water-based paint washed away and Mr Cross has threatened to take the council to court.
‘The road is unlit at night and even during the day, it is not wide enough for a vehicle and a pedestrian to pass each other on the surface,’ Mr Cross said.
Wiltshire Council spends the most on pothole repairs, but what about the others?
The top ten spenders were:
1 Wiltshire Council – £68.6m
2 Warwickshire County Council – £51.2m
3 Cheshire West & Chester – £37.6m
4 Kent County Council – 33.4m
5 Cheshire East – £23.9m
6 Hertfordshire County Council – £21.7m
7 Essex County Council – £21m
8 Cumbria Country Council – £11.7m
9 Hampshire County Council – £11m
10 Cornwall Council – £10.5m
The lowest spending local authorise were:
1 Stockport Metropolitan Council – £24k
2 Kensington & Chelsea London Borough Council – £34k
3 Rutland County Council – £44k
4 Lambeth – £123k
5 Gloucester County Council – £135k
6 Southwark – £139k
7 Haringey – £143k
8 Cardiff Council – £229k
9 Midlothian Council – £257k
10 Bexley – £284k
‘Pedestrians, cyclists, child, or parent with pushchair has to stand at the verge. I am amazed that nobody has been injured so far and it is only a matter of time.
‘The road is heavily potholed and more worryingly the drainage is so bad that the road edges are collapsing. In places the erosion has undermined the surface which will fall away underfoot shortly.’
Despite the issues Parson Lee Farm Glamping has five-star rave reviews on TripAdvisor and Google. Mr Cross said it was because he had to offer free stays and a taxi service to mitigate the risk of the road.
He said: ‘They said in court on your Google reviews you’ve got 100 per cent happiness. I said what I had to do to get that is give people a free night or take them to the pub like a taxi service to mediate the issue of the road so people could focus on the stay.
‘They’re not seeing the full picture. In contrast, the council’s own reviews are 1.6 out of 5. It would appear they just ignore people.’
A spokesman for the council said: ‘This is a country track bordered by a ditch which people who drive in rural areas will be familiar with. We maintain it to a safe level, and couldn’t find any large holes at the side when it was inspected recently.
‘We will ask Mr Cross for the precise location where the photo was taken so that we can carry out further checks and take action if needed.’
They claimed the hole wasn’t a pot hole, but land slippage, adding that it was probably caused by recent flooding and had not been reported through the council’s road maintenance website.
Meanwhile, in the past three years, 210,331 potholes have been reported to Cornwall Council – which covers just under 1,400 square miles of the UK’s 94,000 square miles.
The fewest potholes reported were in the super-posh Kensington & Chelsea London Borough Council, with just 141 potholes reported in the past three years.
A spokesman for MoneySuperMarket said: ‘Cornwall has the highest number of potholes in the UK, with over 210,000 reported since January 2017, while Wiltshire spends the most repairing potholes – an eye-catching £69 million.
‘At the other end of the findings, Kensington and Chelsea recorded the fewest potholes, just 141.’
Deepa Patel, car insurance spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket, said: ‘As most drivers will know, potholes are a real nuisance.
‘It’s not only that they can be dangerous from a safe driving perspective, but they can also cause damage to your car. Burst tyres, problems with suspension and even damage to your vehicle’s body work – potholes can really make their presence felt.’
The worst and best areas in the UK for potholes – as Cornwall comes top with 210,311
The worst areas for potholes in the UK, in terms of the number reported to local councils, were as follows:
1 Cornwall – 210,311
2 Cambridgeshire – 184,402
3 Derbyshire – 172,297
4 Devon – 147,779
5 Oxfordshire – 110,106
6 East Riding of Yorkshire – 106,144
7 Durham – 99,630
8 Rotherham – 83,964
9 Hertfordshire – 72,230
10 Fife – 70,254
The least potholed roads in Britain, in terms of how many were reported over the last three years, were:
1 Kensington & Chelsea – 141
2 Isle of Anglesey – 290
3 Sunderland – 320
4 Rutland – 687
5 Portsmouth – 811
6 Bexley – 882
7 Hammersmith & Fulham – 1,283
8 Haringey – 1,451
9 Lambeth – 1,607
10 Bracknell Forest – 1,706
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