COUNCILLORS say that they are receiving daily complaints about the "vast number of potholes" on local roads.

A common bugbear for residents, potholes and road defects have risen all across the country in recent years, with a 'Round Our Way' Freedom of Information (FOI) request highlighting that more than one million were reported to UK councils in 2023.

Across the borough, data shows that more than two thousand potholes were recorded over the past two years. Although these reports have decreased from previous years, concerns remain about the frequency and severity of the defects.

READ > Former bank set to become church, food bank and community centre

Leigh Journal: One of the potholes reported in Tyldesley last monthOne of the potholes reported in Tyldesley last month (Image: Tyldesley & Mosley Common Labour Party)
Independent Network councillor for Tyldesley and Mosley Common, James Fish, said that a growing number of potholes have been reported across his ward in recent weeks, with residents exasperated about the state of the roads.

The reports have included road defects on King William Street, St Georges Street, School Street, Mosley Common Road, and Garrett Hall Road to name a few, while one pothole on Shuttle Street was reported in August and still has not been repaired, the councillor said.

On social media, many more residents have also relayed concerns about the number of potholes across Leigh, Atherton, and other areas of the borough.

Leigh Journal: A vast number of potholes have been reported to councillors this yearA vast number of potholes have been reported to councillors this year (Image: Independent Network)
Cllr Fish said: "I am receiving numerous messages daily regarding the state of our roads and the vast number of potholes.

"I’m frustrated at the amount of time it taking for these potholes to be filled but also the standard they are being repaired where many of these potholes are reappearing sometimes within days of being repaired.

"I have one particular pothole I reported in August 2023 and despite it being assessed by an inspector twice and promised to be repaired on numerous occasions its still awaiting repair.

"There was a pothole on Church Road in neighbouring ward Astley that I was receiving numerous messages about and damaged about 15 vehicles before this was repaired.

"I'm also frustrated that Wigan Council has to follow the 'Greater Manchester Highway Safety Inspection Framework' which was last published in 2018 and I am asking the council to review their policies on potholes."

Leigh Journal: A pothole reported in LeighA pothole reported in Leigh (Image: Contributed)
While potholes may not be the most pressing issue on the council's agenda, they are a certainly a cause for concern, particularly for the injuries they can cause pedestrians and cyclists and the damage that they can cause to vehicles.

Data from the 'Round Our Way' FOI shows that although pothole reports have been declining across the Wigan borough, they have been recorded in high numbers and have varied over a longer period.

The data shows that the number of potholes reported across the borough rose from 1,385 in 2018 to 1,477 in 2019, but then fell to 1,212 in 2020.

Since then, the number of potholes reported increased to 1,331 in 2021, and then fell to 1,182 in 2022, and 913 up until November 2023.

Leigh Journal: Potholes can often cause considerable damage to vehiclesPotholes can often cause considerable damage to vehicles (Image: PA)
Speaking about the issues with potholes and road defects, Julie Middlehurst, assistant director for infrastructure, said: “Wigan Council follows the Department for Transport (DfT) guidance in the management and maintenance of our highways infrastructure.

“This approach has resulted in the annual DfT road condition surveys showing Wigan Borough’s roads as some of the best both regionally and nationally, benefiting our businesses and residents.

"Last year, we saw a decrease in the number of overall highway defects being identified for repair.

“Where defects have been identified, we remain committed to acting promptly to repair these and are grateful for all reports we receive. We would encourage residents to notify us about any concerns they have by visiting”