Pothole damage claims have doubled in the last year in Yorkshire – but councils have cut payouts by 80%  

Despite a sharp increase in the number of successful claims upheld for pothole damage, Yorkshire councils payouts are at a record low, dropping by 80 per cent.

Recent data uncovered from a Freedom of Information request carried out by carwow, has revealed motorists in the UK on average received £276 -  40 per cent less compensation than they did compared to five years ago. The average payout by councils in Yorkshire was £209 - 80 percent less than in 2013.

A pothole

A pothole

The independent car buying site has given unique insight into the number of compensation claims submitted to councils, compared to the number of successful claims and fees paid out to motorists from October 2013 until September 2018.

The crisis of rising numbers of potholes is putting drivers on the road to misery. With routes worsening and potholes causing severe damage, the AA has declared the pothole situation a ‘national emergency’.

carwow’s research highlighted the numbers of pothole-related compensation claims that are submitted to councils each year, with claims doubling from 23,921 to 48,767 from 2016/17 compared to 2017/18.

Motorists in Wales have been hardest hit with unwillingness to pay out, receiving just £144 per claim in 2017/18, that’s 52 per cent less than the national average. In comparison to drivers in Scotland (£205) and England (£298) who fare better with their claims.

The East Midlands had the biggest increase in successful claims over the five year period in question (170 per cent rise), followed by Scotland (143 per cent) and the North West (76 per cent).

Although almost 50,000 claims were submitted against damage repairs for potholes, fewer than 54 per cent of claims have been successful in the last 12 months across the UK.

The number of potholes filled by councils has increased by 250,000 in the last year, following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement in the October Budget statement of an extra £420 million of funding for councils to tackle potholes.

Andrew Hooks, chief operating officer of carwow, says: “Driver safety is being compromised by the sheer number of potholes on British roads. The damage that these hazards do to cars can be severe, yet compensation payments are dropping.

“This makes no sense and motorists are angry. Government money has been set aside to deal with the pothole plague - if councils aren’t filling them or compensating drivers, we are justified in asking where this cash is going?”