REPORTS of potholes in North Ayrshire to the local council have trebled in just a year, figures have revealed.

And North Ayrshire Council say they have been working around the clock to keep traffic moving through the recent spell of freezing winter conditions.

As well as ensuring roads are gritted, the crews have been dealing with the increasing number of potholes caused by wet and cold weather.

Between November 1 2016 and January 31 2017, the council received reports of 635 potholes but in the same period from 2017-18, they received a whopping 1,994 reports.

But 60 per cent of the reports relate to either the same potholes or multiple potholes.

And anyone with issues surrounding potholes is urged to contact their roads department either online, through the council’s app or by calling them with an increased budget on hand to deal with issues as soon as possible.

Like many local authorities across Scotland, at this time of year North Ayrshire receives a higher-than-normal number of reports of damage to roads and pavements.

Potholes occur when water seeps between small cracks in the road surface caused by the wear and tear of traffic. As the temperatures cool to freezing, the water becomes ice and expands below the surface, forcing the cracks to widen and create potholes. Unfortunately, due to the nature of Scotland’s climate, potholes will happen. However, North Ayrshire Council say they were fully prepared to ensure any disruption to the roads has been minimised this winter.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, there is very little which can be done to stop potholes happening – that’s simply a result of the climate we live in.

“However, we can respond quickly when potholes do appear and we have a system in place which makes it easier for people to let us know about potholes and, in turn, let us react as fast as possible.

“We investigate and deal with pothole issues as they arise and in our latest budget for 2017/18, actually increased our roads budget by £1million to help ensure our roads network remained overall in good condition.

“Given the wide geography of North Ayrshire, including our islands and rural towns and villages, it is not possible to fix all potholes straight away – but we do prioritise the most serious reports and work our way through them as quickly as possible.

“We have drafted in additional workforce to fix potholes and we’d like to thank those dedicated teams who are working to keep North Ayrshire on the move. Over the past few weeks, we have drafted in external contractors to work alongside our existing road maintenance teams to ensure repairs to road surfaces are made as quickly as possible.”

In addition to their reactive maintenance, the council has adopted an asset management approach for ongoing road maintenance and undertakes condition assessments of all roads on an annual basis.

This allows the council to determine a longterm investment programme, taking account of road condition, deterioration rates based on historical data and prioritisation criteria established to meet council priorities.

This approach ensures an appropriate prioritisation of works in line with available budgets.

The Council encourages any resident who wishes to report a road fault to do so on their website at, by calling their Customer Contact Centre on 01294 310000 or by using the iPhone or Android ‘Report It App’ for mobile devices.