Potholes are becoming an increasing problem in Manchester.

The recent bout of extreme weather has lead to more holes appearing in roads across the city, causing more damage to vehicles and posing a safety risk.

The RAC has warned that the Beast from the East has left a legacy of potholes in its wake, claiming that callouts related to pothole breakdowns have doubled following last week’s widespread snow and ice.

The RAC estimates that pothole damage costs drivers £100m a year.

Manchester council has recognised the problem and has committed to spending £100m over the next five years to resurface and maintain the road network.

In this blog post we explore the damage that potholes do to cars, how you can report and claim for damage caused by potholes and we will also look at some of the worse pothole hotspots in and around Manchester.

What damage do potholes do to cars?

If you’ve ever hit a pothole, you’ll know the sinking feeling that comes with that sudden deep clunk. You know that something has been damaged down below and you know it is going to be pricey to fix.

Potholes can cause a number of wheel, tyre and other problems. They can lead to:

  • Buckled wheels
  • Cracked alloys
  • Popped tyres
  • Tyre lumps
  • Imbalances in tracking and wheel balancing
  • Suspension problems

If you are concerned after hitting a pothole, its best to pull over straight away and check for any obvious damage to your wheels or the underside of your car.

Some of the damage may not be immediately obvious but you should keep an eye out for unusual vibrations and slight tracking problems.

If you notice these signs then it is best to get a garage to check your vehicle as soon as possible. This will make it easier to claim for pothole damage.

Reporting and claiming for damage caused by a pothole

If your car has been damaged by a pothole, you can file a claim with the local authority that is responsible for maintaining the road (or Highways England if it is a main A road or motorway).

Councils, however, can only be held accountable for damage if they are aware of the pothole and have not fixed it.

Councils regularly perform their own road assessments, but you can also report potholes with the council or with a third-party website like Fix My Street. On Fix My Street, you can also see potholes that have already been reported.

If you intend to claim for damage, return to the scene, take notes and, if it is safe to do so, take photos of the pothole.

Make sure you note down exactly where the pothole is – including the road name and the position in the road. If anyone is in the car or walking down the road, ask if they are willing to be a witness and take their contact information.

If you get a photo, make sure you include a household object like a can of coke to give a sense of how large the pothole is.

Potholes that are 40mm or below – equivalent of two 20p pieces – don’t qualify as potholes according to government guidelines.

Get your car repaired by a trustworthy garage, keeping all quotes, invoices and receipts in support of your claim.

Now you can write to the council responsible for the pothole or contact Highways England if it is a main road.

Manchester pothole hotspots revealed

There are lots of pothole hotspots around Manchester. This map shows all the most recent potholes reported around Manchester City Centre on Fix My Street.

Other hotspots have been identified as particularly tricky.

A Freedom of Information request from Car Parts 4 Less found that the most potholed road in England was Oldham Road in East Manchester with a whopping 741 complaints made about it to Manchester City Council in 2016/17.

Chester Road in Cheshire also made the top ten list.

Wythenshawe labelled particularly bad by the MEN. One anonymous Fix My Street user reported that a pothole on Gladeside Road damaged their suspension linkage arm and steering rack, costing them £300.

Very recently, residents in Trafford have identified the A56, a main road through Stretford as being particularly in need of repair.

Resident Hazel Gibb took to Facebook to warn drivers and cyclists of the dangers of running into the hole which has opened up on the main road.

She said: “Avoid this pothole at the roundabout by Stretford flats if you are coming from Manchester and instead go around the roundabout towards Urmston. Broken spring and that’s the second one!”

Trafford residents recently welcomed plans for the local authority to spend 14.4 million repairing 60,000 potholes. For many road users, it couldn’t come soon enough.

MEN readers also identified Wheler Street in Higher Openshaw, Queens Road in Cheetham Hill, Moston Lane in Moston, Heyscroft Road in Withington, School Lane, Wilmslow Road, Kingsway and Burnage Lane in Didsbury and Wilbraham Road in Chorlton as pothole disaster zones.

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