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Council in £1m pothole payout

Dec 30, 2023Dec 30, 2023

The AA attended almost 50,000 breakdowns due to pothole damage in May, more than 1,600 a day.

The number of breakdowns caused by potholes was the second highest recorded by the AA pothole index since it started in 2017.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: "Such has been extent of damage to UK roads, caused by winter's ravages and poor road maintenance over many years, that the May bank holiday road travellers ran the risk of major damage and repair bills – particularly if they ventured off the main roads into the country.

"The big concern is the extra risk posed for the increased number of cyclists and bikers on to the road. Yes, the drier weather might have made the potholes easier to spot, but the sheer number of potholes means the odds are stacked against road users."

The AA's analysis comes after the RAC reported a 39% year-on-year increase on vehicles suffering pothole damage, having been called out to 10,076 separate incidents in April.

Damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels – issues most likely caused by poor road surfaces – accounted for more call-outs than in any other three-month period since January to March 2021.

In addition, the number of pothole-related breakdowns more than doubled from the 4,915 seen in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The RAC also saw a 14% spike in wheel changes compared to the same period last year.

The Labour-run Welsh Government has been forced to pay one driver more than £1million in compensation after they hit a pothole.

After a four-year legal battle, the motorist was awarded £1,188,565.25 for a "pothole-caused personal injury".

The unnamed driver was injured in the pothole accident in 2018-19.

Dozens of people have put in such claims in Wales over the past five years, with figures showing the Welsh Government settled 11 claims for pothole-related vehicle damage over the past five years and a further two claims to personal injuries.

Over that time, the typical highest payout for vehicle damage claims was £1,077.

Gareth has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist having started his career in local newspapers in the 1990s. Prior to joining Fleet News in 2008, he worked in the public sector as a media advisor and is currently news editor at Fleet News.

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