Figures released through a freedom of information request have shown that the number of compensation claims received for pothole damage has reached a five-year high. This damage was incurred on motorways and major A-roads controlled by Highways England, with the number of claims doubling from the previous year. A whopping total of 1,089 claims were made in 2017-18, compared to just 542 the year before.
The amount of money paid out totalled £311m in this time period, with the most common claims seeming to be damage to shock absorbers, suspension and buckled wheels.
Despite this, amid rising compensation payouts, the amount being spent on road maintenance has decreased significantly. The freedom of information request also highlighted that £209.3m was spent on maintenance in 2017/18 which is a 25 per cent drop compared to that in 2015/16.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “These numbers show that potholes and the damage they cause are not confined to local roads but afflict our most important and, overall, our best funded routes too.”
“We must ensure that we give as much attention to looking after the roads we’ve already got as we do to funding the large-scale building of new roads.”
A spokesperson said that at the organisation, safety was its top priority, adding: “Since 2015 we have resurfaced over 3,000 miles of our network and plan to resurface over 1,000 miles this financial year.”
November 23, 2018