Councils spent £43.3 million on pothole compensation claims

Cycling UK has published findings which show that local authorities have spent at least £43.3 million dealing with compensation claims and legal costs due to potholes over the last five years.

The cycling charity points out that the compensation claims and legal fees alone from the 156 highways authorities is equivalent to 17 per cent of the government’s five-year Pothole Action Fund of £250 million, announced in April 2015.

Key findings for the five-year period show that, on average, authorities incurred costs of £277,707.44, with 670 cyclists and 30,893 drivers having their claims accepted. Of that, motorists received on average £841.26 per successful claim and cyclists received on average £10,963.15 per successful claim. Additionally, it found that £9,980,158.74 was spent on legal costs.

Sam Jones, Cycling UK’s senior campaigns officer, said: “Cycling UK’s research reveals only a glimpse of pothole Britain’s human cost. It’s clear more people are being killed and seriously injured while out cycling each year due to years of persistent under investment in our rotting local road networks. The government should concentrate on fixing the roads we have first before building new ones. Councils need provide enough funding to adopt long-term plans for roads maintenance, rather than pursuing a policy of patching up streets only as they become dangerous. With the government looking to encourage more and safer cycling, then the UK’s road surfaces need to be safe enough for people to cycle on."