City resisting car claims over potholes

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A YORKSHIRE council is successfully resisting paying compensation to many motorists whose cars are damaged by potholes.

Last winter Leeds Council received 400 claims, mostly for vehicle damage, with 50 coming from people who slipped or skidded.

But despite severe weather, payouts are dropping every year because, the council says, its inspection and repair policies allow it to defend claims.

In January this year, the council received 179 claims for compensation but is resisting all of them.

So far this winter the council has not paid out a penny, although many cases have yet to be resolved.

A council report says: “Pay out on claims is reducing significantly year on year due to inspection and repair policies which allow the council to successfully defend claims.

“However this does not negate the staff costs involved in processing claims or the inconveniences, financial hardship and distress caused to people when accidents occur.”

The report does not reveal how much, if anything, the council has paid in recent years.

But it does say that last winter 2,500 more pothole reports were made on top of the average of 18,000.

At around £50 per pothole, it cost the council an extra £125,000.

The biggest financial cost comes from roads that need full resurfacing, rather than patching.