The continued impact of austerity measures has really started biting – by chomping costly holes in the roads of the UK.
Which? Magazine has released a report claiming that last year local councils in the UK paid out a staggering £22 million in compensation for cars damaged by potholes.
The news becomes even more staggering (as well as bemusing), when you consider that instead of fixing holes in the road, those same local authorities have adopted a policy of letting insurance companies carry the burden. It’s an approach that will leave many an inconvenienced British driver scratching their heads.
Have you seen a massive local pothole? Where is the biggest pothole in Britain? Do you have a picture? Come on, let’s name and shame the local authority with the biggest pothole in Britain!
It is estimated that potholes in the UK contribute to as much as 20% of the mechanical problems experienced by the nation’s cars, particularly axle and suspension problems. Put another way, this specific road problem could be costing British drivers it’s as much as £300million.
What if your car has been damaged by a pothole – what can you do?
If you have suffered a Pothole Problem, potholes.co.uk has published a plan to help you claim against your local council’s inaction. The first step is to photograph the pothole and record its dimensions/locations. The second is to report the pothole to the local council. You should then find out how often the road is inspected and maintained, you can do this by submitting a Freedom of Information Act. Your claim might be rejected under Section 58 of the Highways act (which says the council must take ‘reasonable measures’ to ensure road maintenance problems like potholes are dealt with), but don’t be deterred, make your claim and stay calm. Consider whether your council’s maintenance programmes match Section 58. If it does not, press on. Oh, and listen to offers. It’s easier to take a negotiated offer than go to court – neither part wants that, do they?
Which part of the country has the worst potholes?
17 North West Councils paid out the most in compensation according to the Asphalt Industry Association who commissions the Which? report. The North West’s 17 councils paid out £8m. Yorks and Humber were next with £3.3million from 10 councils, London were third with £3.2m from 24 councils, the South East £2.7m from 13 councils, the West Midlands £1.8m from 7 councils, Wales £1.4m from 14 councils, the North East £1m from 10 councils, the South West £1m from 11 councils, the East £0.3m from 9 councils and finally the East Midlands £0.1m from 6 councils.
While the government recently handed over £140m to tackle damaged roads over the course of the December’s cold snap, it’s a drop in the pothole when considering the eye-watering figure needed to clear the backlog of UK road maintenance.
It’s estimated that £12.93 billion would be need to tackle road repairs in the UK.