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£5m paid out in pothole damage over 2 years
Motorists in the UK have received nearly £5 million in compensation over the last two years for damage caused to their vehicles by potholes and poorly maintained roads.
But with the coalition slashing government spending on road improvements further still, experts fear the situation will only get worse in the future.
This is according to a study by breakdown firm Britannia Rescue, which also says it costs just £50 to fix a pothole.
Which means 96,000 of these road scars could have been fixed if councils had spent the £4.8 million they’ve paid out to repair damaged cars on tackling the cause of the problem instead.
Officials received a total of 54,000 claims for damage to vehicles during the last 24 months, resulting in an average payout of £132. Though Britannia Rescue’s findings suggest some claims were as high as £3,000.
They may look innocuous, but potholes can cause serious damage to a car. Problems reported include ruined tyres, broken suspension components, failed parts in the steering system and damaged alloy wheels and wheel trims.
One in eight drivers (12.5%) have lodged complaints with town halls since 2010, with Surrey County Council topping the list of payouts. The local authority compensated drivers £638,239 in total, spread over 3,650 claims.
According to Britannia Rescue Managing Director, Peter Horton, “cuts in maintenance funding leave councils difficult choices on roads they prioritise for repair.”
The top 10 councils for pothole compensation claims paid out within the last two years are as follows:
1 ) Surrey – £632,239 (3,650 claims)
2 ) Barnsley – £241,202 (296 claims)
3 ) Nottingham – £158,578 (777 claims)
4 ) Kent – £133,593 (4,904 claims)
5 ) Lincolnshire – £119,706 (620 claims)
6 ) Worcestershire – £110,560 (668 claims)
7 ) Essex – £103,507 (2,696 claims)
8 ) Hertfordshire – £101,630 (1,739 claims)
9 ) Lancashire – £97,160 (626 claims)
10 ) East Sussex – £86,591 (1,388 claims)