Over 110,000 potholes recorded on NI roads in 2023


Recent government data analysed by shows there were 110,023 recorded potholes on Northern Ireland roads in 2023 – an increase of 9%.

Potholes are a frustrating and dangerous problem for drivers. With more bad weather to come this winter, and the cost-of-living crisis pushing car insurance premiums up, motorists run an increased risk of costly incidents if potholes continue to increase.

A new survey by found that 91% of drivers in Northern Ireland have issues with potholes in their area. 94% of respondents also believe not enough is being done about potholes, while 96% said they weren’t fixed quickly enough.

The government statistics show that of the 138,464 surface defects recorded on NI roads in 2023, a staggering 110,023 were related to potholes. This means that potholes accounted for 79% of all recorded surface defects on NI roads in 2023.

According to the data, 78% of all recorded potholes were repaired, however, over a third took 4-6 weeks to be fixed. 

Time Taken to Repair% of Potholes
Repaired within 1 calendar day3%
Repaired within 5 working days54%
Repaired within 4-6 weeks41%

Newry, Mourne and Down district council was the worst area in Northern Ireland for potholes, with 20,080 reported in 2023, a 32% increase from the previous year.

Other areas with high levels of recorded potholes included Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon with 12,986 potholes, Belfast with 12,726 Derry City and Strabane with 10,822 and Mid Ulster with 10,871 recorded potholes.

Castlereagh and Lisburn faced the least amount of potholes with 4998, although this was still a 31% increase from the previous year.

Seven council areas saw the number of potholes recorded in 2023 increase from 2022, Newry, Mourne and Down Mid Ulster, Antrim and Newtownabbey, Mid and East Antrim, Causeway Coast and Glens, Fermanagh and Omagh and Castlereagh and Lisburn.

Fermanagh and Omagh saw the biggest increase of potholes up 90% from 2022, significantly higher than any other council area. In comparison, Mid and East Antrim saw the second biggest increase in potholes which was 34%.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Belfast, Derry City and Strabane and Ards and North Down all saw a decrease across 2023.

Ards and North Down saw the biggest decrease, down 19% from the previous year.

The increasing number of potholes on Northern Ireland roads has largely been attributed to a lack of adequate funding from the government. Although the majority of reported potholes are repaired by the council, cheaper insufficient materials are reportedly being used to cut costs, meaning the repairs are often only a temporary solution.**

Recent bad weather has also been attributed to the growing number of potholes on the roads, with 2023 being the third wettest year on record in Northern Ireland.*** The consistent heavy rain has added to the already dangerous state of the roads.

Commenting on the figures, Ian Wilson, Managing Director of, said: “With the cost-of-living crisis pushing insurance premiums and fuel prices up, costly damage to vehicles due to potholes is the last thing drivers here need.

“Unfortunately, potholes are a continuous problem and the ongoing weather conditions, and lack of adequate funding can be very frustrating for many drivers on our roads.

“Not only can potholes cause serious damage to vehicles, but they also increase the risk of accidents and make the roads more dangerous for drivers.

“Pothole related damage to vehicles is becoming more expensive as parts, paint and repair costs all soar, meaning drivers are having to lose their no claims bonus to claim for repairs. It’s one of the key reasons that car insurance costs are on the rise, a surge in claims is escalating insurance premiums right across the UK.”

Drivers who experience damage from potholes can also contact the Department for Infrastructure and appeal for compensation if they have evidence the damage caused is related to a pothole. helps hundreds of thousands of drivers every year find savings on car insurance plus niche items such as taxi and van insurance, and car finance. 


Potholes recorded by council on public roads in 2021/2022

District Council Area2022 potholes recorded2023 potholes recordedChange%2023 Completed2023 waited 4-6 weeks
Newry, Mourne & Down1521420080+32%154473038
Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon1491612986-13%99552431
Derry City & Strabane1207010882-10%94365372
Mid Ulster1004710871+8%100863796
Antrim & Newtownabbey76537871+3%52311265
Ards and North Down70935757-19%43221614
Mid & East Antrim56837602+34%55391741
Causeway Coast & Glens53206442+21%45052627
Fermanagh & Omagh51199733+90%80363952
Castlereagh & Lisburn38184998+31%43241243
 TOTAL101,370110,023 81,55927,663


** (Page 10)

***’s findings are based on a randomised survey of 500 respondents across Northern Ireland in January 2024, which represents a margin of error of approximately 5% at a 95% confidence level.

This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.