Re: Hills Road
" The councils probably don't get any money from central government to fix them in the first place"
Virtually all potholes are a result of failure to do minor work like cleaning drains. They're a symptom that your council's been corner cutting for a long time.
Around these parts (not a million miles from Cock Lane) I filmed a drains contractor driving down the road, stopping at each one for 60-90 seconds, not bothering to get out and inspect, let alone clean 'em, then drive on to the next one. He noticed he was being filmed, got out of his truck and started being pretty aggressive (including demands to not be filmed etc), but also denied working under contract for the council. Unfortunately for him the logs showed that the company he was working for signed off the drains as cleaned, they were still blocked+flooding the next day and the youtube videos of his (lack of) work plus denials ended up in the hands of local councillors.
We (councillors and a couple of council auditors) suspected that particular rort was going on for a while, but it was nice to actually document it. Not that it mattered as the council refuses to do anything about the dodgy contractor - too many family hands in the cookie jar (and yes, this is in the SE of the UK)
On the subject of Cock Lane - the Crusader's work resulted in the council there closing the road to do resurfacing, estimating it to be closed for 4-6 days at a cost of about £50k. It actually took closer to 6 months and £350k because the roadbed was so badly damaged due to lack of drainage that it had to be completely rebuilt from scratch in a lot of places. Whilst rebuilding the lane the council also found that 3/4 of the roadside gullies had been paved over - which meant that water had built up, soaked into the roadbed and effectively destroyed it. So yes, the Cock Lane Crusader had a bloody good point.