POTHOLES are costing the council hundreds of thousands of pounds a year after it had nearly 900 complaints about damaged roads around Swindon.

Swindon Borough Council spent £637,700 on 878 road repair requests over the past 12 months, up from the previous year’s total of £591,769, which went towards responding to 584 complaints.

Motorists complained about Thamesdown Drive over the last year more than any other Swindon road, with 21 reports, while Queens Drive topped the table with 25 reports the year before.

Helen Sparks from Covingham said: “I’m not surprised, it’s awful round here.

"The White Hart roundabout is the worst, you catch your wheels in them and they’re too big to avoid. It’s important that they are repaired properly, we pay enough in tax.”

Francis Ravenscroft from Liden said: “They're dangerous for cyclists. They’re a real pain, you always have to be on the lookout.

“As the town expands, roads which are already in a bad state won’t be able to cope with the extra traffic that thousands more homes will bring.

“Sometimes, the borough use cheap private contractors but then end up repairing the same road twice at the cost of doing it properly once, causing needless extra inconvenience to people who pay for access to these roads.

“Perhaps they should publish a maintenance schedule online which says ‘these are the worst roads and this is how we’re fixing them’.

An council spokesman said: “We work hard to keep our roads as safe as possible by filling in all potholes that are reported to us as well as those we identify through our own inspections.

“Last year we fixed 7,592 potholes and patches, only 910 of which were reported to us by members of the public.

“We would always welcome more money to improve the quality of our roads, as would all councils, but our job is to use the money we do get as effectively as we can. During the last year we spent £405,000 from the Pothole Action Fund to provide permanent repairs to almost 30 problem areas.

“We don’t shy away from the issue. Our two-week pothole campaign last month resulted in 94 reports of potholes on Swindon’s roads, pavements and cycle paths and we have streamlined our pothole reporting process to make it even easier for residents to tell us about potential defects.

“All residents need to do is visit our website, drop a pin on an interactive map and leave a few details. After that, our highways team will aim to inspect the report within four working days. If the pothole is 40mm or deeper, they will aim to fix it within 24 hours.

“Residents can report potholes on Swindon’s roads, pavements or cycle paths by visiting swindon.gov.uk/potholes”

Several people claimed compensation from the council after bumpy roads damaged their vehicles.

The borough had to pay out more than £1,800 to 19 successful complaints out of 57 in 2018/19 and £2,583 to 17 successful complainants out of 44 in 2017/18.

Swindon Labour leader Jim Grant said: “We don’t spend enough money on actually repairing potholes. What this council tends to do is just dress them but not repair them so that within two years, the potholes re-emerge and it becomes an ongoing process.

“Swindon deserves better. We would actually set aside larger funding to fix this problem and commit to long-term solutions.

“The council set aside millions to support private developers setting up infrastructure in the New Eastern Villages and they should think about spending some of that money to help actual council tax payers.”