Leeds City Council has admitted it needs more help from the Government to fix the city’s roads, after figures reveal the authority receives more than 20 complaints a day about potholes in roads across the city.
Information released by the council following a freedom of information request show more than 37,000 complaints have been made to the authority about the state of roads in the district between 2014 and 2019.
The council says it has a “robust” system for managing highways in the city, but admitted it is dealing with a backlog of maintenance and needed “greater financial support” from central government.
The figures also show a huge disparity between areas, with roads in Harewood receiving four times the number of complaints as those in Rothwell.
A total of 37,637 pothole complaints were made about Leeds Roads between April 2014 and March 2019, while £2m was spent during that time by the authority filling in the holes.
The council wards of Harewood (2,376), Wetherby (2,218) and City & Hunslet (2,104) broke the 2,000 barrier for the number of complaints made over the five year period.
Meanwhile the Middleton Park (651), Rothwell (599) and Headingley (328) wards saw the lowest number of pothole complaints.
Responding to the figures, a spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “We have a robust system for managing our highways in Leeds and proactively plan maintenance to reduce the amount of reactive repairs needed. We carry out routine safety inspections to identify potholes for repair, as well as reviewing local reports.
“The council has increased spending in the last 10 years on planned maintenance to reduce the number of potholes forming on the roads.
“However, we do still need greater financial support from government. It is estimated that the cost of restoring the roads in England and Wales to a reasonable, steady, state would be approximately £9.79bn.
“Currently, we are dealing with a backlog of outstanding maintenance on our road network. More support needs to be given to local authorities to help us improve the condition of our roads to tackle problems which affect all road users every day.”
Leeds-based transport campaigner Stuart Long agreed that the council needed more resources to deal with the problem, but called on the authority to make it easier to complain about road problems.
He said: “They don’t have the budget – they need the government to help out.
“But when you make a complaint, everything has to go through an online system.”