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Councils sitting on 700,000 pothole complaints amounting to one every 46 seconds

Local councils receive a pothole complaint every 46 seconds, equating to almost a million grievances a year, figures show.

In total, almost £1billion has been spent fixing damaged roads in the past 20 months, a figure similar to the previous year.

However, the damage persists, with more than £1.9million being paid out in compensation to claimants that have their vehicles damaged in the past year.

The figures, revealed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), show that just 24% of claims for vehicle damage were successful across England, with the average pay out per claim equating to £257.

Authorities in the North East received the largest number of complaints, registering more than 100,000, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber (92,000), the South Central region (almost 88,000) and the South West (just over 80,000).

A deep enough pothole is enough to leave your car in quite a bad state (Image: Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

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The organisation is now calling for more funding for local authorities to support maintenance programmes, better coordination between utilities companies and councils for repair works, and a simpler system for reporting potholes locally.

It comes after the Government promised an extra £420million to fix potholes and repair damaged roads last October.

“Potholes are a major concern for the nation’s small businesses. Our members rely heavily on the local road network, with their staff, customers and trade deliveries, dependent on fast and efficient road networks,” explained Mike Cherry, at the FSB.

“Poorly looked-after roads peppered with holes and cracks not only hamper their ability to do business, but lead to damaged vehicles, which are often vital assets to small firms working without large capital reserves.

“These figures show just how widespread the issue is and it’s clear that the Government and local authorities need to sit up and take notice. Measures like more funding for local authorities and improving the coordination between authorities and utility companies, will go some way in helping ease the burden of this ever-growing issue.”

What to do if you fall victim to a pothole

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Hitting a pothole normally causes damage to a car’s tyres or axles – if you fall into one, you’ll immediately know something’s wrong.

What many drivers don’t know is that their local council could be to blame, as they have a responsibility to keep roads fit for purpose.

If you drive into one and the local authority knew about the pothole but hadn’t repaired it/followed road maintenance guidelines, you may be able to claim compensation.

You can find details of this on the Highways England, Gov.uk or Transport for London website.

It’s also important to gather evidence. Aim for all of the following if you can:

  1. Images: A handful of pictures showing the width and depth of the pothole should suffice. Get images from as many angles as possible.

  2. Witnesses: If possible, gather notes from anyone who saw the incident

  3. Timestamps: Make a note of the date and time the damage occurred

  4. Location: Make sure you can pin point it on a map

  5. Contact details: Share your information and details of your mechanic’s statement if you are getting it fixed. If you’re not, do your research and gather some quotes to prove the severity of the damage.

  6. Payment proof: You’ll need to share repair invoices and proof of payment

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/921065753732958