There were 4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. But how many are there around the UK's roads today? 1.6 million. And their number has increased by 700,000 in just two years.
The potholes are opening up faster than local councils can fill them in. And the cost of repairing the roads, we are told, will run into many billions of pounds. Perhaps it's time to admit defeat. Perhaps the time has come to make a virtue of these hundreds of thousands of crevices on our public highways. We just need to think a little imaginatively. Some of the deeper ones could be licensed for spelunking. Clusters of tarmac craters could be used to stage Great War battle recreations. Some might be converted into medium-sized lidos. All it would take is a bit of rain.
Welcome to the pothole leisure economy. How about a trade show to drum up international interest? To be held at the Albert Hall, naturally.