According to new research, the compensations paid to motorists, because of damaged vehicles due to non-maintained roads, could have been used to fix over 100,000 potholes. According to the research, 140 councils have paid over £4.8 million in compensations to drivers whose cars were damaged by badly maintained roads.
The official statistics released by Britannia Rescue show that drivers have filed 54,436 claims in approximately two years. The reasons behind most of the claims are potholes which punctured tyres, damaged suspension or damaged wheel rims. According to the research, the average damage caused by a pothole costs £132 while fixing the pothole would cost just £50.
Recent statistics show that there are currently over 2 million potholes in the UK. Each year local authorities fix over 12,000 potholes, but they can’t take care of all of them. 434 local authorities were asked to participate in the research, but only 143 of them accepted to do so.
The final results show that the authority with the largest bill is the Surrey County Council. It has spent £638,239 for two years and has compensated a total of 3,650 drivers. In the meantime, the local authority at Kent, compensated almost 5,000 motorists, spending £133,593.
An AA spokesman stated: “The pothole review provided by the Department from Transports showed us some flaws and we believe that the measures we’ll take will help resolve the problem with potholes. We believe that potholes shouldn’t just be quickly patched. Instead, they should be properly fixed in order to ensure a long-lasting repair.”
He added: “The rainy weather conditions at the moment are making the potholes even worse and more dangerous, because they are difficult to see.” Meanwhile, Norman Baker, local transport minister, stated: “The government’s plan is to invest £3 billion in road maintenance until 2015. Keep in mind that they also provided £200 million in 2011 in order to repair the roads which were severely damaged by the heavy winter of 2010.”