Pothole claims ‘made every 17 minutes’

Potholes are costing councils �1.8m a year in claims
Potholes are costing councils �1.8m a year in claims
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A claim for compensation for potholes is made every 17 minutes, the RAC says.

But councils only paid out on average in just over a quarter (26.9%) of cases.

The analysis by the RAC Foundation based on data collected from 204 out the 207 local authorities in Great Britain, shows the average value of a successful claim is £306, with local authorities paying out £1.8m last year.

In Yorkshire, Sheffield paid out the most, a total of £22,474. England’s largest county, North Yorkshire received the highest number of claims -288 - but only paid out £10,138. Only a quarter of those who completed their claims received a pay-out.

Leeds received 190 claims and paid out £17,734. Nearly half the completed claims were successful. While Hull paid out just £5,670, the success rate of claimants was even higher at 75 per cent.

An annual survey of council highways departments puts the roads maintenance backlog at an eye-watering £11.8 billion. The Asphalt Industry Alliance which commissions the survey said the results painted “an unsettling picture, with the cumulative effect of decades of underfunding taking their toll.” And it suggested “further decline lies ahead.”

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “These figures are symptomatic of the inadequate funding available for local road maintenance. Just last week the Chancellor acknowledged that there had been decades of underfunding in the nation’s infrastructure and that he was keen to support targeted, value-for-money public investment. Providing the funds to fix our roads would be a great place to start and would show rapid results.”