They are the bane of drivers’ lives – and a cyclist’s worst nightmare.
But the pothole problem on Lancashire’s roads seems to be getting deeper, despite the extra millions being spent on filling them in.
We asked readers online to identify the county’s worst craters and we were inundated with hundreds of replies.
Most were from angry motorists faced with expensive garage bills caused by hitting a hole in the road.
But others came from bike riders sent tumbling by a cavity in the street.
One pedestrian was also left cursing highways bosses after breaking her ankle as she crossed a rutted road.
I woke up in A&E after riding down a five-inch deep pothole on my bike. They denied liability, yet everyone said it had been there for 12 monthss @SallyMark Wilson
“I was off work for five months,” said Shirley Proctor after her accident in Bamber Bridge.
Cyclist Mark Wilson revealed: “I woke up in A&E after riding down a five-inch deep pothole on my bike. They denied liability, yet everyone said it had been there for 12 months.”
And osteoporosis sufferer Margaret Wyatt said: “I have several spinal wedge fractures. Trying to navigate to Preston Hospital without going down one is horrendous.”
The list of roads identified by our Facebook followers as being blighted by potholes numbered more than 60. Most of those were in Preston, South Ribble and Chorley.
The biggest bill for damage claimed came from Daz Cowen whose car has been off the road since he hit a crater. The cost to repair, he says, is at least £1,300.
Karen Molloy said: “Cost us £400 for a new sump after hitting sunken grid in the middle of the road. Council response: ‘It was fine at the last inspection – 12 months ago.’”
Carl Glover claimed he “popped two tyres” near a bridge over the M65 near Clayton Brook, costing more than £500 to replace.
The bill Louise Coxhead faced after buckling one wheel and damaging two tyres in Longmeanygate Lane, Leyland, came to £480.
Nathan Ellison said he paid out £260 for two new tyres, Helen Snape claimed £200 from LCC to fix damage caused by a pothole and Gerard Hopkinson is in the process of slapping in a bill for £96 for work on his car.
Andrea Phillips hit a hole in the road in Wrea Green and it cost her £100 for a new wheel.
Residents in Church Lane, Charnock Richard, are reported to have put cones in a number of holes to help drivers avoid them.
Anthony Rishton, who said he was about to submit a claim to LCC, admitted: “The form they send out is ridiculous and off-putting.”
Carina Healy warned drivers against using Kingsfold Drive in Penwortham, saying: “The bus even tilts to one side.”
Oliver Rylance, who got the county council to refund the cost of a new tyre, alleged the response he got was: “If you drive around there all the time you should have known the pothole was there.” His response was: “Erm, no, I pay my taxes so you should make sure the pothole isn’t there.”
County Hall’s highways chief Coun John Fillis insisted the authority was doing its best to get on top of the problem, but this winter’s floods had made matters much worse.
The cabinet member for highways and transport said: “The floods which hit Lancashire at the end of last year caused millions of pounds worth of damage to our highway infrastructure, including road surfaces, and our engineers are still very busy repairing the worst of the damage to ensure safety.
“We have received £5m from the government to repair flood-damaged infrastructure and if there’s a need for further funding for highway maintenance we will discuss this with the DfT in the coming months.
“Surveys carried out in the autumn showed the condition of our A, B and C roads had improved over the previous year, demonstrating that our strategy to invest in timely maintenance to bring them into better condition over the long term appears to be working.
“We’re doing our best at the moment to deal with all the problems caused by the floods, and things will improve as we get on top of all the repairs which are needed.
“In the spring, we will again begin a full programme of maintenance which will ensure our roads are in better condition by the autumn.”