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Government invests £30,000 into pothole finding app

The government is working on an Android app, known as Fill That Hole, which helps road users avoid potholes. 

The Department for Transport has invested £30,000 to develop an app called Fill that Hole. No, you haven’t accidentally stumbled onto an adult dating Web site — we’re talking about potholes. 

Roads minister Robert Goodwill announced the money will be used to develop an Android app that broadcasts pothole locations to road users. The cash will also help the National Cycling Charity improve the existing Fill That Hole Web site.

An iPhone app of the same name is already available. The charity hopes the new app will boost the current audience of 9 million users to 26 million, with the Android version arriving in February 2014 ─ a time when wintery weather really begins to take its toll on UK roads. 

“The government is serious about tackling potholes,” the Roads minister explained. “At best they are an irritation but at worst they can damage vehicles and pose a serious danger to cyclists. That is why we want people to tell councils where to find them so they can fill them in. This app means more people are going to be able to report potholes more easily.”

The app was originally designed to help cyclists, but motorists annoyed by the potential damage a sizable pothole can cause have taken to it.

The government hopes the app will help local councils tackle the worst pothole offenders, thanks to input from users.

“Filling potholes in quickly is only one half of the story. Research has also shown a long-term approach to road maintenance, rather than patch and mend, can save councils and taxpayers money and potentially save lives thanks to better road conditions,” Goodwill added.

More than £3 billion has been allocated to authorities in England (excluding London) to try and repair British roads between 2011/2012 and 2015/2016.

A report from February 2013 found most local councils would rather pay out compensation than shell out the estimated £12.93 billion needed to repair the entire UK road network.

The iPhone app is can be downloaded for free here.

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