Dangerous potholes that could cause accidents can take more than a day to repair in Leeds, data obtained from the RAC Foundation shows.
That’s considerably slower than the most common response time of two hours, with the fastest councils aiming to act within minutes.
Hitting a pothole, or even swerving to avoid one, can ruin a car’s suspension, steering or tyres, according to the AA.
In extreme cases they can cause serious accidents.
In 2018, the AA estimated potholes cost drivers and insurance companies an eye-watering £12 million.
It said: “The pothole epidemic has become nothing short of a national disgrace.”
A Freedom of Information request by the RAC found that Leeds City Council determines how dangerous a pothole is by measuring its size and depth.
The local authority will only investigate potholes that are at least 4cm deep.
That applies regardless of whether the pothole is on a quiet lane or a major route.
The RAC Foundation recommends a different approach, assessing the impact of a pothole on road users over size.
Director Steve Gooding said: “The total number of potholes being filled in might still be limited by a shortage of funding, but this approach at least means those that are most dangerous are fixed first.
“Those particularly vulnerable to potholes – cyclists and motorcyclists – might ask whether the speed of pothole investigation should be based solely on the risk to users.”
The Local Government Association called for more funding for council-controlled local roads.
Transport spokesman Councillor Martin Tett said: “Keeping roads safe for all users is one of the most important jobs councils do.
“That’s reflected in the fact that local authorities are fixing a pothole every 21 seconds.”
He added that councils need “consistent and fairer government investment in local road maintenance”.