Drivers claim £3 million for pothole damage

January 26, 2015 | By | In News

Councils have paid out more than £3 million in compensation to drivers who incurred pothole damage in 2014, according to research by the RAC Foundation.

UK drivers made nearly 50,000 claims for damage incurred to vehicles through poor road surfaces last year, equating to a claim every 11 minutes. In total councils paid out £3.2 million, with individual motorists receiving on average £286 each.

This average is down from £357 in the year 2012-2013, though, and the RAC Foundation found that even when a claim was unsuccessful the administration charge cost £147.

The research showed that local highways authorities received 2,325 more claims that the year before, with 200 of the UK's 207 authorities responding to a Freedom of Information request. Surrey, Essex and Kent received the most claims, however, less than a quarter of the 48,664 claimants successfully received a payout.

The RAC has said more funding is needed to repair roads and has highlighted that the £50 billion being spent on the controversial HS2 high-speed rail could be used for the £12 billion backlog of road repairs that councils are facing. However, ministers have pointed out that, since 2010, £4.7 billion has been invested in UK roads.

Director of the RAC Foundation, Professor Stephen Glaister, said: "Many drivers will be put off by the time involved in claiming against a council, and many councils do their best to deter claimants coming forward," reports BBC News.

He added: "The fundamental problem lies not at the doors of our town halls but with central government. Despite occasional one-off grants related to periods of harsh weather, they are simply not giving councils enough money to keep their road networks up to scratch."

Has your car been affected by potholes? Have you made a compensation claim to your local council? Have your say in the comments section below.

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