Thomas Bridge 07 November 2014

Councils face soaring compensation claims over potholes

Councils face soaring compensation claims over potholes image

Councils in flood-hit areas have seen claims for pothole damage rise by almost a quarter this year, as compensation payouts exceed £5m.

Over 26,000 compensation claims for damage relating to potholes were received by local authorities in the past financial year, a 13% rise on 2011/12.

Research by insurers LV= suggests town halls in areas worst hit by winter flooding following the deluge of rain witnessed last year have seen claims for pothole damage to cars rise by 23% on average.

Data suggests Wiltshire paid out the highest sum in compensation to drivers this year, the figure exceeding £154,800. Between January and August, Vale of Glamorgan is thought to have paid out £152,000 in compensation, while Surrey faced a £134,300 bill.

Council chiefs today demanded long-term funding to tackle the £12bn roads repair backlog, warning that severe weather this winter could be a 'tipping point' for the country's roads.

Around one in six motorists have experienced potholes damaging their cars over the past 12 months. Figures show that local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland have paid out over £5m in compensation in the past two financial years.

Peter Horton, managing director of LV= Road Rescue, said: 'Persistently heavy rain and flooding earlier in the year created the perfect storm for Britain's pothole epidemic. Councils therefore face difficult choices in the roads they prioritise for repair this winter.'

Responding to the report, Cllr Peter Box, the Local Government Association's transport spokesman, said: 'Despite spiralling multi-million pound compensation costs and funding cuts, councils still fixed two million potholes last year. But we need long-term funding to tackle the ever-growing £12 billion roads repair backlog facing the nation.

'Tackling this crisis must be a national priority. That is why we are calling for the Government to inject a further £1 billion a year into roads maintenance by investing the equivalent of just two pence per litre of existing fuel duty. Our recent national polling found 83 per cent of the public back this plan.'

Participatory budgeting image

Participatory budgeting

Evgeny Barkov explains what participatory budgeting means and how it can reveal what citizens need.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Youth Service Lead

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Essex is a diverse county which encompasses some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country as well as some highly affluent communities. This England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Qualified Social Workers within Adult Services

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Essex County Council ( ECC) can offer a wide range of opportunities within Adult Social Care for Qualified Social Workers across a variety of teams an England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Building Surveyor

Essex County Council
£38001.0 - £43299.0 per annum
Discover the perfect work/life balance - then combine it with genuine job satisfaction. At Essex County Council, we are proud to support a highly skil England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Care Manager - Preparing for Adulthood Team

City of York Council
£30,500 - £34,797 per annum
We are looking for someone who will... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Control Practitioner - Nights

City of York Council
£21,400 to £23,793 per annum) reduced pro-rata
Be Independent are a City of York council service focused on assisting customers to live independently in their own homes. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue