Frustrated drivers have voted potholes as the most annoying thing about driving, we can reveal on National Pothole Day today.

A survey by building material company Tarmac of 2,000 road users found the irritating craters more irritating than tailgaters, drivers failing to use their indicators, and even breaking down.

Eight in 10 drivers, cyclists and motorcycle riders admit they have to navigate potholes every time they take to the roads.

According to the research, 43 per cent of drivers have had their car damaged by a pothole.

The top cause of damage to vehicles was a burst tyre (44 per cent), ahead of damaged wheels (36 per cent).

But worse still, a fifth of pothole-related incidents resulted in vehicle collision.

If left to foot the bill themselves, the average cost drivers had to pay came to £130 – though nearly one in 20 have had to pay out £400 or more.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

A large pothole on Duke Street, Devonport, has taken on a new lease of life – in the form of some buzzing street art. Photo: SWNS

Top 20 road user bugbears

  1. Potholes
  2. Drivers who don’t indicate
  3. Tailgaters
  4. Road works
  5. Cyclists
  6. People who use their phones and drive
  7. Drivers who weave in and out of lanes
  8. Finding somewhere to park
  9. Speed bumps
  10. Middle lane hogs
  11. Getting stuck behind a slow moving vehicle
  12. Speed cameras
  13. Roundabouts
  14. Busy junctions
  15. Under-takers
  16. Lane closures
  17. Breaking down
  18. Narrow roads
  19. Horses
  20. Diversions

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

It is National Pothole Day today, January 15. Photo: Holly Cant

Paul Fleetham, managing director of contracting at Tarmac, said: “Potholes may seem like a minor problem - but they cause millions of people financial and physical damage each year.

“Our research shows that the vast majority of city-dwellers are fed up with the inconvenience they cause.

“It is therefore essential that road maintenance in England and Wales receives adequate government funding.

"We believe is essential for local authorities to ensure they can deliver lasting road maintenance solutions.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

The most annoying thing about driving is potholes. Photo: Ken Mears

“We need to move to a longer-term proactive approach to funding that focuses on the social value of our roads, managing the network as a vital asset with proper preventative structural maintenance."

The Federation of Small Businesses is calling on the government to deliver on its manifesto pledge to provide £2 billion in funding to fill the thousands of potholes blighting streets across the nation.

Its findings across England showed that 700,000 potholes were reported in 2018/19, which is around 28km, which if filled in would be the equivalent height of 292 Big Bens.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

National Pothole Day raises awareness of the UK pothole plague. Photo: Holly Cant

It found that in total, almost £1billion has been spent fixing damaged roads and holes in 2018/19, a figure similar to the previous year.

The federation's London policy lead Rowena Howie said: “Potholes are a major concern for London’s small businesses. Our members rely heavily on the local road network, with their staff, customers and trade deliveries, dependent on an efficient road network.

“Poorly looked-after roads peppered with holes and cracks not only hamper their ability to do business, but lead to damaged vehicles, which are often vital assets to small firms often working without large capital reserves.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Potholes can cause damage to cars and injuries to pedestrians. Photo: Ken Mears

“While money is important, simply offering piecemeal funding will not fix the problem at hand, which is why equipping local authorities with the means to fix and maintain roads is so critically important.

“Prioritising this will mean that road defects are stopped from developing into potholes in the first place.”

Posters entitled Hubcaps Of The UK and pizza boxes containing damaged hubcaps have also been sent around by pothole repair company EZ Street asphalt. These hubcaps bear coroner's toe tags detailing their demise.

More about the campaign at:

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Potholes are even more annoying than drivers who don't indicate and tailgaters. Photo: Mark Soanes

Send us your best pothole pictures

To get into the spirit of National Pothole Day, send us pictures of the worst potholes in your area. Include your name, where the photo was taken and how long the pothole has been left unrepaired for. Email