Advertisement

England's 'pothole capital' has roads 'like surface of the Moon'

The city of Hereford in the West Midlands has been named 'England's pothole capital' by a survey of motorists.

Gaol Street in Hereford - the town with the most potholes in England. Photo released February 4 2024.  See SWNS story SWLNpotholes. People living in the pothole capital of England say the roads are so bad it’s like “driving over the moon”. A study found Hereford had more potholes than any other area in the country – with 25,000 being reported to the council last year alone. Data reviewed from reports on the FixMyStreet platform found there was one pothole reported for every 127th resident in Hereford. Locals even say the pavements are “falling apart” with some saying they are too scared to venture out after dark in case they trip over.
A pothole on Gaol Street in Hereford. (SWNS)

Residents in the city dubbed "England's pothole capital" have said the state of the roads there is so bad it is like the "surface of the Moon".

The city of Hereford in the West Midlands was given the dubious honour in a report published last week.

Researchers from SmartSurvey used reports from the FixMyStreet platform to reveal that a pothole was reported for every 127 residents in the city, while Herefordshire Council said more than 25,000 potholes were repaired there last year.

One Hereford resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I don't drive but I walk everywhere and even that is dangerous.

St Guthlac Street in Hereford - the town with the most potholes in England. Photo released February 4 2024.  See SWNS story SWLNpotholes. People living in the pothole capital of England say the roads are so bad it’s like “driving over the moon”. A study found Hereford had more potholes than any other area in the country – with 25,000 being reported to the council last year alone. Data reviewed from reports on the FixMyStreet platform found there was one pothole reported for every 127th resident in Hereford. Locals even say the pavements are “falling apart” with some saying they are too scared to venture out after dark in case they trip over.
A pothole on St Guthlac Street in Hereford, dubbed England's 'pothole capital'. (SWNS)

"Sometimes I feel like my short trip to the shops is like walking across the surface of the moon.

"There are literally craters everywhere you look. I don't walk anywhere after dark in case I trip over and fall flat on my face."

Another resident, Jenni Gough, 76, said the roads outside her home on Andrews Close is “appalling”.

Watch: Residents say living in 'England's pothole capital' like being on 'surface of the Moon'

She said: “I have lived here for 25 years and I’ve never known the roads and pavements to be so bad.

“There are about three potholes at the end of our road which have been there for three years and they just get bigger and bigger.

“About six months ago the council filled them in but already they are sinking and it won’t be long until they are back to what they were."

Jake Bow,29, tyre fitter from Hereford Tyres. Photo released February 4 2024.  See SWNS story SWLNpotholes. People living in the pothole capital of England say the roads are so bad it’s like “driving over the moon”. A study found Hereford had more potholes than any other area in the country – with 25,000 being reported to the council last year alone. Data reviewed from reports on the FixMyStreet platform found there was one pothole reported for every 127th resident in Hereford. Locals even say the pavements are “falling apart” with some saying they are too scared to venture out after dark in case they trip over.
Tyre fitter Jake Bow said he receives constant calls from motorists in Hereford whose cars have been damaged by potholes. (SWNS)

Tyre fitter Jake Bow, 29, said he is called out at least three times a day to help drivers who have damaged their cars on potholes.

"It's just getting ridiculous at the moment," he said. "The people who we help are just driving on normal roads in the city but these giant potholes are everywhere.

"I've heard stories of people claiming for compensation from the council only for the council to rush out and quickly fill in the hole.

"It's like whack-a-mole but the council need to get a grip on the situation. It's getting to the point where it's almost not worth the risk of driving into Hereford."

More West Mids stories - click above
More West Mids stories - click above

Part-time nurse and mother-of-two Anne Doverman, 60, said her house on St Guthlac Street has been damaged by cars driving through potholes.

"We've had a cracked window after a car went over a pothole and it kicked up a load of loose gravel and stones," she said.

"We always report the potholes and the council come out and fill them in but it makes no difference. A few months later they're back and bigger than ever.

"It's a really terrible situation and Hereford is well deserving of its title as England's pothole capital."

Gaol Street in Hereford. Photo released February 4 2024.  See SWNS story SWLNpotholes. People living in the pothole capital of England say the roads are so bad it’s like “driving over the moon”. A study found Hereford had more potholes than any other area in the country – with 25,000 being reported to the council last year alone. Data reviewed from reports on the FixMyStreet platform found there was one pothole reported for every 127th resident in Hereford. Locals even say the pavements are “falling apart” with some saying they are too scared to venture out after dark in case they trip over.
Gaol Street in Hereford is riddled with potholes. (SWNS)

A spokesperson for Herefordshire Council told Yahoo News UK: “Potholes are a scourge of all highway authorities up and down the country and we know the impact that they can have on motorists.

"This report looked at the number of potholes reported versus the population of each area and as we are a rural county with an extensive road network it serves to highlight the challenges and pressures we face.

"Despite this, it is encouraging to see that Herefordshire Council is recognised for being ‘more responsive’ than many other local authorities, fixing potholes at a much higher rate."

The council said it has committed an extra £10m to highway resurfacing between 2024 and 2026.

How to claim for pothole damage?

The government says motorists may be able to claim compensation if their vehicle is damaged by a road.

They should contact the organisation responsible to tell them about the damage, why they think they are responsible and details of where and when the damage was caused.

According to the AA, motorists should start by reporting the pothole to their local authority.

After having their car repaired, they may be able to claim compensation from the council.

Motorists should inform the council of the location of the pothole and include details of quotes, invoices and receipts for their repairs.

If the claim is rejected, motorists can appeal.

Recommended reading