More than 31,000 claims for pothole-related damage were made to councils in the past financial year, the RAC has revealed.

The shockingly high figure of 31,483 claims equates to one being submitted every seventeen minutes in 2015/16.

However, from its analysis of 204 of the 207 local authorities in Britain, the RAC discovered that they had only paid out in just over a quarter (26.9%) of cases.

Freedom of Information requests revealed that the worst offending area was Hampshire, which had 1,952 claims against it. In second place was Surrey, with 1,412, and finally Hertfordshire with 1,369.

Meanwhile, the only council to receive no claims for damage caused by poor road conditions was the Isles of Scilly. The City of London and Orkney Council received just one claim each.

The average claim weighed in at £432. However, the average successful claim was more than £100 lower, at £306.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: “These figures are symptomatic of the inadequate funding available for local road maintenance.

“Year in, year out, the backlog of work on local roads is estimated to run to several billion pounds.”

Currently, the government estimates a road maintenance backlog of £8.6billion. However, a survey of local authority highways departments by public risk management association Alarm suggests it is higher, at £11.8 billion. 

Gooding continued: “A pitted road surface isn’t just a problem for motorists – for those on two wheels it can be life-threatening.

“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.”

Jack Evans


After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.

October 13, 2016

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