GAS, electricity and water companies dug 17,027 holes in Kirklees’ roads and paths last year.
That equates to a staggering 46 every day.
The shock figure, revealed in a council inquiry into the quality of road works, does not include the council’s own road works and is a massive reduction on previous years.
In 2007, 18,597 holes were dug while in 2006 the number was 20,846 and in 2005 it was 24,983.
But the report, commissioned at the request of former Kirklees Council roads chief, Clr Martyn Bolt, concludes that the council is improving in the quality of its A, B and C roads and also on the quality of works carried out by utility companies.
Clr Bolt said he wasn’t surprised at the high number and blamed the ageing Victorian sewers.
Just last summer most of the A629 Halifax Road was fully re-laid all the way down to Edgerton Road.
But less than a year on, contractors have dug a hole in the shiny new tarmac.
A spokeswoman for Northern Gas Networks said they had been called to an emergency gas leak last Thursday.
She added: “We never take any chances with safety.
“The leak was repaired with no problems and we are just waiting for the road to be re-instated.”
Kirklees Council’s cabinet member for highways, Clr David Sheard, was not available for comment but Clr Bolt appealed for tighter control of utility companies.
He said: “When these people dig the roads up we want it putting back properly and not looking like a patchwork quilt.
“The council can fine them if they dig it up within 12 months unless it’s for an emergency.”
A Kirklees Council spokeswoman, admitted that over the last three years utility companies dug on average 10 holes per kilometre.
She added: “The council can ask the utilities to work at restricted times or in the evening to minimise inconvenience to travelling public or in residential areas.
“We can make them work seven days a week to reduce the time taken or defer work until school holidays to minimise disruption .
“We encourage joint working where two or more utilities need to work on the same road.”
But Clr Bolt said the main reason he had called for the report was to probe the poor quality of recently resurfaced roads.
He said: “The A62 Leeds Road has recently been resurfaced.
“If you look at it and one or two others that they recently resurfaced, they are failing already.
“There’s gaps, cracks, subsidence and man hole covers are failing.
“When we’ve spent millions of pounds in the last five or six years, that seems to be a very short shelf life for a road.
“I would ask people to tell Highways if you see any defects.
“That’s money that they have wasted.
“There was a £35m back log in statuatory repairs when I took over Highways so we need all the money we can get.”
Last September, Clr David Hall, the then roads chief, said the back log was now £41.7m and it would be slashed to £16m with a five-year programme of road improvements.