£11m: Yorkshire's toll of 180,000 repaired potholes

MORE than 180,000 potholes have been repaired this year across the Yorkshire region as councils battled with the prolonged winter cold snap.

So far this year authorities have filled in or patched up in excess of 35,000 more holes than in the whole of the previous year.

One authority, North Yorkshire County Council, says it needs in excess of 25m to repair "accelerated damage" to the roads, including potholes and other problems – a figure that could yet rise. It has warned it will struggle to complete repairs before the onset of winter.

Earlier this year it opted to impose a controversial "snow levy" on council taxpayers to help pay for repairs.

The council's executive member for highways, Gareth Dadd, says problems are amplified in North Yorkshire as it is a vast area with many rural roads.

Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the authority says it has redirected resources and amalgamated funds and received Government money to meet the huge bill.

However Coun Dadd added: "The intention is to carry out work on major routes before the winter months but resources are limited and we are facing financial constraints like all local authorities."

As motorists report being frustrated at having to negotiate potholes there are claims the rush to fill-up holes has left some over-filled, turning them into dangerous mounds.

In addition, many routes can be dug up several times by utility companies and others to carry out repairs, which can have the effect of leaving routes looking like patchwork quilts.

The head of roads policy for the AA, Paul Watters, said: "The average number of physical defects in the roads have increased by 40 per cent in the last 10 years."

There is also growing concern about the impact on cyclists.

A spokeswoman for CTC, the UK's national cyclists' organisation said last night: "Approximately 13 per cent of cyclists' injuries reported by members to CTC's solicitors are the result of road defects, while the discomfort from poor or inadequately swept road surfaces can be a major deterrent to cycling.."

Hull Council says it has 1,342 pothole repairs remaining from the period January 1-June 25 this year, but this changes on a daily basis. It predicts it has the cash to meet costs.

Calderdale Council says it has no outstanding potholes and says it fills those reported within 24 hours. In Sheffield 70,000 have been filled since the severe weather and they are continuing to be dealt with. It expects to have enough cash to meet costs.

The issue is still being dealt with in Kirklees the authority stating in response to a Freedom of Information request: "The council is still dealing with reported potholes which just demonstrates the extent of the damage caused throughout the district by the severe weather."

Wakefield Council estimates it will cost around 30,000 to complete its backlog, but says it has the cash. In Leeds there was a huge peak in pothole numbers in February and March, while in Bradford there were in excess of 200 holes a day being filled during the freezing conditions.

East Riding Council says the numbers and severity of potholes is now at "normal" levels.

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