14 October 2022

Here's where to find Canberra's 5 worst potholes right now, according to you

| James Coleman
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‘Pothole’ seems like a bit of an understatement. Photo: James Coleman.

They’re appearing everywhere at the moment, but where can Canberra motorists expect to find the gnarliest potholes?

We asked and it turns out it was the opportunity to vent you’ve all been waiting for. But before we could warn everyone else of the perils out there on ACT roads, we had to see them for ourselves.

We’ve ranked your answers below, from cringe to crater.

5. London Circuit (outside ACT Legislative Assembly)

“There’s a ripper right out the front of the Legislative Assembly,” John says.

We thought this might be a euphemism, especially with another comment by Simon suggesting the pothole was actually “in the Legislative Assembly”.

But Alan also backed it up.

“Ironically, just outside the ACT Legislative Assembly on London Circuit – three big potholes!”

Sure enough, a quick walk to the side of the building that faces London Circuit, and there they were. One almost looks artistic, with cracks spreading out from the main hole like tiles in a mosaic.

Rating: 2 – relatively small and shallow with smooth edges. Avoid if possible.

Pothole, Ainslie Shops. Photos: James Coleman.

4. Ainslie Shops car park

Lee has felt the pain of this one.

“Ainslie shops car park – will be putting in a claim for a damaged rim,” she says.

It’s located right at the entrance to the car park, meaning cars have to perform evasive manoeuvres after rounding the corner. In conversations with some of the other locals at the shops, it might have been accepted as part of the furniture now.

Rating: 3. Large and deep with sharp edges, but it’s also a car park, so you shouldn’t be going more than 10 km/h.

Pothole, Belconnen Way to Tuggeranong Parkway. Photo: James Coleman.

3. Belconnen Way to Tuggeranong Parkway

“Down ramp from Bandjalong Crescent to the Tuggeranong Parkway southbound (Aranda), several large ones,” Lynnette says.

“Turning off Bandjalong down to Belconnen Way has some bad ones, too,” Matt concurred.

“Cars are swerving back and forth to dodge around them.”

The government’s pothole-patching team beat us to it here, but there is still plenty of evidence. Chunks of tarmac have been spat up onto the centre concrete island in a number of places along the entry ramp to the Tuggeranong Parkway.

Rating: 1. Fixed for now, but keep an eye out if more rain arrives.

2. Majura Avenue, Dickson

“This one in Dickson has been destroying hubcaps for generations,” Morgan says.

“Must be heritage listed,” Michael replies.

Scott is a nearby resident and has seen nothing like it.

“I’ve been here for 15 years and that road has been patched no less than 30 times in the last five years,” he says.

It keeps going.

From Denise: “It’s nearly big enough to swallow a car, and they’ve tried to fix it numerous times but been unsuccessful at it. Thank God the road has two lanes.”


The pothole on Majura Avenue is such a feature you can even see it on Google Maps (this is from June 2002 – and it remains alive and well to this day). Image: Google Maps.

This pothole on Majura Avenue even has its own signpost and appears on Google Maps from June 2022. An attempt has been made to repair it recently, but given the adjacent grass literally crunches underfoot with bits of tarmac, it will be back.

Rating: 3. Fixed for now, but this pothole is unkillable.

1. Jabanungga Avenue, Ngunnawal

There was only one comment by Mark on this one, but it piqued our interest.

“Jabanungga Avenue, Ngunnawal near Iterra Grove – not so much a pothole as a full road-width swamp. The bus route has been diverted. Conventional drive vehicles negotiate with caution.”

Nothing could have prepared us for the post-apocalyptic landscape we came across. Pothole may not be the right word. Crater. Gulf of Mexico. Sea of Tranquility. They all work better.

Rating: 5. Avoid at all costs.

Close-up of Ainslie Shops car park pothole. Photo: James Coleman.

Others to watch out for

On Spiegel Street between Kaleen and Giralang, according to Ilona.

“About eight potholes that get filled in every six weeks or so and are okay for a couple of days.”

“The roundabout at Davenport St and Majura Ave has multiple clunkers all around the circle,” Rob adds.

Louise says Drake Brockman Drive in Higgins is bad in both directions; Lisa-Marie names Sulwood Drive in Tuggeranong; and Tim says one near the Kmart carpark at South.Point is an “axle killer”.

Less seriously, Robert names the entire end of Commonwealth Avenue surrounded by State Circle. Hmmm …

Lloyd tells the story of the time he became stuck in a local pothole.

“Got out of the car and was walking around looking for a way out, another bloke walked up to me and asked if I was okay. I told him I was looking for a way out. He said that if I help him find his car, we can both drive out.”

The community can report potholes online via Fix My Street. Alternatively, they can phone Access Canberra on 13 22 81. Once reported, potholes are generally repaired within 10 working days, depending on weather and traffic. Potholes of immediate safety concern are generally fixed within 48 hours.

Have we missed any? Of course, we have – there are too many to count (and, it seems, fix). Let us know about them in the comments and give them a rating.

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Jabanungga has been developing over the last 7 years and has never been repaired correctly. Within days of being patched the traffic would push the dirt out and the meter high bulge would be back again. What the photos don’t clearly show is that the damage to the road stretches approximately 50 meters and consists of 5 or 6 craters.

The first 80 years of Canberra produced a well planned and immaculately cared for city. Since self government the city has fallen into ruin, but why would the Chief Minister for Personal Agendas, Toy Trains and Decriminalization of Hard Drugs care?

Maybe Riotact should have a live map showing pothole locations so we can be on the lookout (and a different colour tag for all the potholes that have had some bitumen put in them but are still just as much a bump as before they were “patched” to failed-socialist-state standards)

Fix my Street is some kind of joke. I, and my neighbours, have been reporting a problem for years to no effect.

The ACT Greens were arguing to get spending on cycleways and bike lanes to equal 20% of spending on roads. I initially thought this meant they were going to increase spending on cycleways so it was 1/5th spending on roads. Though it seems this has been achieved by reducing spending on roads to not exceed 5x the insufficient amount spent failing to maintain cycleways.

“Ainslie shops car park – will be putting in a claim for a damaged rim,” said Lee
Really? How fast were you going in an area with a 15km/h speed limit that you damaged a rim?!

Nahworriesmate. Chuck a bit of gravel in, stamp it down and then do the next. ACT Govt won’t check. They no longer employ road expertise. Contractors laughing.

Capital Retro4:53 pm 15 Oct 22

I note that none of the many potholes in Tuggeranong have been reported. This is probably because they are nothing new down here. It’s time you whingers in the deep north toughened-up.

A couple of things worth mentioning: firstly, any taxpayer expenditure on roads needs to be fully counted for, cost-benefit, business case, etc. (Just like any other form of transport which requires the expenditure of the taxpayers’ dime). Secondly, whilst it might be popular to blame the government on everything we should think about the vehicles we choose to drive. With so many people feeling the need to drive around in a massive wannabe Sherman tank, it is little wonder that the roads are put under additional pressure.

Wannabe Sherman tank is still lighter than a Tesla – look up the stats

nah not some of the SUVs you see on the roads, they’re massive and just not needed.

This is what the government looks like on the inside.

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