Compensation money could have been better spent

Pot holesAn astounding report concerning the state of the UK’s roads reveals that councils all over the country are paying out massive settlement fees to disgruntled motorists after their vehicles have incurred damage from potholes.

It will come as no surprise to motorhome insurance providers who deal with claims from mobile home owners every year who quote the reason for damage on their vehicles as being caused by damaged road surfaces. The level of the amounts paid out though are shocking, and the report suggests that proactive councils would be better served repairing the potholes rather than paying out costs for damaged vehicles.

Motorists including motorhome owners and campervan enthusiasts are amongst 1 in 8 drivers who say their vehicles have suffered damage due to a bad road surface with 45% saying they have encountered problems related to tyre failure, 40% reporting suspension damage, 26% quoting wheel rim damage and 12% falling victim to steering problems brought about by driving over potholes. Over 1 million drivers have broken down in the last two years because of poor road surfaces.

The report says councils have received over 54,000 claims from drivers whose vehicles have been damaged in the last two years and have paid out an incredible £4.8 million in compensation. The figures show that compensation averaged out at just over £130 although some individual claims ran into the thousands. With sources saying that the average pothole costs in the region of £50 to be repaired the compensation bill would have repaired nearly 100,000 potholes! Motoring organisations believe the Government is at fault and statistics suggest they may be right. On average only £17 per driver is spent on road maintenance which is only just over 10% of the revenue collected by the Government in Road Tax. It is a miserly sum compared to some European countries and the combination of wet summers and harsh winters has exposed both the road surfaces and Local Authorities lack of investment in a big way. Of course it is the motorist who has suffered most.

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