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Pothole problems for Welsh councils

Council workmen are being kept busy with potholes. Credit: PA

Welsh councils repaired more than 118,000 potholes over the last year, according to a Freedom of Information request by Plaid Cymru.

But a number of local authorities took more than a year to fix non-urgent work.

Isle of Anglesey Council said it repaired 99 per cent of potholes within 24 hours but Caerphilly reported it only repaired 64 per cent of road and pavement potholes within its target time.

Cardiff Council said it repaired more than 16,000.

Across Wales, the equivalent of more than 300 potholes per day were fixed last year.

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Councils paid £1.8m compensation to road users in Wales in 2012

Councils paid 50% more in compensation than in 2011 Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Welsh councils paid £1.8 million pounds out in compensation claims for road users last year.

The annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey says two thirds of roads were badly affected by flooding in 2012.

Between them, councils in Wales filled nearly 160,000 potholes.

Potholes are 'a national embarrassment'

The fact that one-third of our members have had their car damaged by potholes is a damning indictment of the state of our roads - they're a national embarrassment.

More broadly, it doesn't reflect well on the standing of our nation in the eyes of tourists and indeed foreign investors. A decent road infrastructure must be a minimum requirement for a progressive 21st century country.

– Edmund King, AA president

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Potholes damaged 'a third of vehicles'

Potholes have been made worse due to the cold snap followed by wet weather. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Almost a third of people in Wales who were surveyed by AA have had their vehicles damaged because of potholes.

The breakdown company says the problem has been worse this year due to the cold snap followed by wet weather.

Potholes form as water freezes and expands in cracks in the road surface. Passing traffic opens up the damaged road surface and rain washes out loose material, deepening it further.

The results show that tyres and wheels bear the brunt of the impact with 11 per cent of people surveyed reporting a damaged tyre and four per cent sustaining damage to both tyre and wheel.

On average, AA says it costs the councils in Wales £35 to fill one pothole but in the UK millions of pounds are paid out every year in compensation claims.

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