This is how much pothole damage claims cost Derbyshire taxpayers last year
Derbyshire County Council insists improving local roads is a ‘top priority’ – after it emerged the authority forked out just over £500,000 of taxpayers’ funds last year to settle damage claims caused by potholes.
A Freedom of Information request by online car marketplace heycar revealed the council had the UK’s second highest bill for pothole claims in 2019-20, totalling £500,965.
A council spokesperson said: “We’ve made improving the county’s roads a top priority and over the next three years will spend £120million on road maintenance.
“Just under half the amount paid out in 2019-20 was paid out to one person for a case that dated back to 2014 so the real amount for 2019-20 was much lower.
“Since 2019-20 we targeted the repair and prevention of potholes and set on extra gangs of road workers to support our 12 regular teams to fix potholes and carry out other road repairs such as patching.
“Our major resurfacing and surface dressing programmes for the next three years will also help to reduce the numbers of potholes created.”
According to heycar, Manchester Council hit the top spot with pothole claims of more than £1m.
Collectively, councils across the UK saw more than £8m in claims made and settled with taxpayer money last year.
Dan Powell, senior editor at heycar, said: “Potholes are such a familiar sight and I’m sure everyone will have a top ‘worst road’ in their area that comes to mind when potholes are mentioned – but they’re much more than just an inconvenience.
“They’re causing real damage to people and their vehicles and the rate at which potholes are appearing is too fast for councils to keep up with – so even more claims will be coming, further reducing the funds available for road repairs.
“Driving should be a feel-good experience, especially after the restrictions of the past year.
“However, poorly maintained roads only lead to concern and frustration.
“The pothole crisis only appears to be getting worse – and more funds need to be allocated to help councils fill them quicker.”
The RAC has said it attends more than 1,000 breakdowns every month where cars have been forced off the road after hitting a pothole.