THE combined depth of all potholes in Gloucestershire last year amounted to 345 metres, more than the height of the Eiffel Tower.

The number of potholes reported by Gloucestershire County Council in 2016 was 8,631, according to a Freedom of Information request by

However, the county spent less than other neighbouring councils with a seemingly less serious pothole problem.

The council spent £706,000 on repairs last year and £5,520 on compensation to road users affected by potholes. Both figures rank in the middle range when compared to all local authorities in the South West region.

Meanwhile, neighbouring county Wiltshire, with a relatively smaller pothole problem (6,803 potholes of a combined depth of 272 metres) spent 92 times more on compensation (£507,546).

It also spent £900,000 on repairs in 2016, 27 per cent more than Gloucestershire.

Somerset County Council, with a pothole problem 2.7 times less than Gloucestershire spent more on repairs (£886,358) and compensation (£6,130).

The two local authority areas in the South West which appeared to have a larger pothole problem than Gloucestershire were Devon (60,639 potholes) and Cornwall (27,654 potholes).

Both spent in excess of £20,000 on compensation, while Devon spent more than £2million on repairs.

Councillor Paul Hodgkinson said: “Potholes are still the bane of people's lives. There are too many poor quality roads and everyone who drives or cycles on our roads is painfully aware of this.

“The figures show that Gloucestershire is paying out far less in compensation than other counties. Why is this? The roads clearly aren't better and from my observations they are worse in many cases.

“I had a tyre blowout from a pothole last winter and couldn't get compensation. Trying to get cash back from the council is like going through the eye of a needle. No one would be bothered by this if the roads were in a high quality state." submitted a Freedom of Information request to 412 local authorities, and the Highways Agency, Transport Scotland and Welsh Government. Of these, 197 local authorities responded as well as Highways England.

A scrolling animation of England’s pothole problem can be seen at: