More than £100,000 forked out in compensation by Council Council for pothole damage to cars

More than 100,000 forked out in compensation by Council Council for pothole damage to cars
More than 100,000 forked out in compensation by Council Council for pothole damage to cars

The cash-strapped county council forked out more than £100,000 over five years to refund drivers’ claims after their vehicles fell victim to potholes.

The cash-strapped county council forked out more than £100,000 over five years to refund drivers’ claims after their vehicles fell victim to potholes.

Figures published on Bucks County Council’s website show that from 2013 to 2017 a total of £121,648 was spent on refunding disgruntled motorists who had been forced to get their vehicles repaired after driving on the county’s deteriorating roads.

However the amount paid out by the council has reduced dramatically in recent years, after £5,835 was refunded in 2016/17 compared with £35,480 in 2016/2017.

The tax year 2013/14 saw the largest sum compemsated to drivers over last five years, after a staggering £55,133 was forked out due to pothole related damage.

Last month it was announced that BCC will receive an additional £1 million from Government to fix the county’s dilapidated roads – however leader Martin Tett says this will not be enough to end the current pothole crisis.

A total of £120m has been spent on resurfacing the county’s roads over the past seven years however a lot more work still needs to be done according to Cllr Tett – who has called for more cash from Government to help fund repairs.

BCC currently receives £10 million from Government to fix roads – however between £20 million and £25 million a year is needed in order to see “major improvements”.

Cllr Tett said: “The roads in this county are not in a good state. They are not as good as I would want or any resident would want.

“We have been really badly hit by this winter and it is one of the worst winters I have known certainly since I joined the council back in 2005.

“It is not just the fact, I get people who say but we have winter every year, it is not the fact that winter was a big surprise to me – I have that on my calendar too. But the issue is we have had an exceptional winter in terms of rain in particular.

“We need more money from Government for resurfacing roads so they are actually going to stand up to bad weather in years to come.

“We only get £10 million a year from Government. What we need is to be spending £20 million a year. £10 million won’t even keep the roads in their current condition”.

Spokesman for Transport for Bucks, Florence Matthews, said the increase in potholes “is not exclusive to Buckinghamshire”, adding that the council is struggling to meet deadline repairs due to the rising numbers.

She said: “The current acceleration in pothole formation is not exclusive to Buckinghamshire – it has been acknowledged across the country following the severe winter weather conditions we were faced with earlier on this year.

“The cold weather challenged us, as it meant our roads began to fail and our ability to repair them using hot material was limited.

“As a result of this, the number of defects present does mean that we are struggling to meet some of our deadlines.

“We are prioritising our efforts on those defects which present the greatest immediate risk, and are currently identifying and repairing around four times the ‘normally’ expected numbers of potholes.”