Pothole compensation claims rise after flooding

Pothole compensation claims rise after flooding
7 May, 2014 10:29am Chris Ebbs

Campaign group calls for signs to warn motorists of damaged roads and cut costs

Councils based in the areas worst hit by winter storms are facing massive increases in the number of compensation claims brought forward by motorists, according to campaign website Potholes.co.uk.

The campaign group fond that Somerset council had seen the number of claims rise to 204 in January and February, up from 24 in November and December - an increase of 750 per cent. 

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And the same trend was seen by Surrey county council, which was also victim to flooding at the beginning of this year. The council reported that it had seen a 353 per cent increase (from 405 to 1,834) in the number of claims, and told the group that an "unprecedented number of claims," meant that there was a backlog of claims waiting to go through the system.

Meanwhile, in Dorset, another area badly hit by the floods, the County Council saw claims for pothole damage increase from 85 in November and December to 193 in January and February – up 127 per cent.

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Pothole damage to cars in the UK creates an estimated annual repair bill of £730million and continues to increase each year, according to research by the campaign group and Warranty Direct.

In order to warn drivers of damaged roads and potholes, Potholes.co.uk has come up with a temporary road sign. It claims that it would only need to prevent two to three incidents to cover costs versus £100s in garage bills and compensation payments.

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Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “With potholed stretches of road affecting many road users on a daily basis, there’s now real cause to create dedicated signage. Let’s give people a fighting chance of avoiding unnecessary garage bills or even personal injury."