The number of reported potholes in Sheffield has actually halved, council bosses have insisted, after an insurance company claimed it was one of the worst locations in the city.
Figures provided to the RAC through a Freedom of Information request showed a total of 2,468 complaints about potholes were made in Sheffield in 2017 – a 57 per cent drop on the 5,799 reports made in 2015.
The figures come after separate data provided to The Insurance Emporium labelled Sheffield as being the ninth worst local authority for reports of potholes in the UK.
But Amey said the figures supplied following that particular Freedom of Information request were ‘incorrect’ due to a ‘classification error’ and insisted the data provided to the RAC were the accurate statistics.
In the same two-year period nationally, there was a 33 per cent increase in potholes being reported to councils.
Nick Hetherington, network manager at Streets Ahead, said: “When we started this contract back in August 2012, Sheffield was known as pothole city and for many years there had been little programmed maintenance carried out that the council focused on because there was only the funds to fill potholes.
“Around 65 to 70 per cent of the roads in Sheffield have now been resurfaced, which is massive and other authorities would be jealous of that.”
Mr Hetherington said the resurfacing programme was currently on hold for three months due to the colder weather but pothole repairs were continuing.
He said: “For the rest of the year we will be resurfacing around 100 miles of roads and looking at all the reports of potholes and survey data to look at which roads we need to do next.
“Bramall Lane, outside the football ground, is a good example. That road has deteriorated quite a lot so that will be done soon.”
Amey has been delivering a £2.2 billion project to upgrade the city's roads, pavements and street lighting as part of a 25-year PFI contract.
But the scheme has become mired in controversy over the approach to felling thousands of street trees and replacing them with saplings as part of the work on pavements.
The Department of Transport announced in 2010 that it intended to support highways work in Sheffield through a Private Finance Initiative project, which led to Sheffield Council signing a 25-year deal with Amey worth £2.2bn in 2012 – £1.2bn of which was through Government funding.
In October, Chancellor Philip Hammond said he would be preventing further PFI contracts – where private firms take on the risk of delivering projects in exchange for payments from the state over several decades – from being signed in future over concerns about their value to money to taxpayers.