Pothole compensation claims 2015-16 13 Oct 2016

Pothole compensation claim made every seventeen minutes

Drivers made at least 31,483 claims against councils for vehicle damage caused by poor road conditions in the last financial year.

This equates to a claim being submitted every seventeen minutes in 2015/16.

However, councils only paid out in just over a quarter (26.9%) of cases.

The analysis by the RAC Foundation is based on data collected from 204 out the 207 local authorities in Great Britain.

The average value of a claim was £432, though the average value of a successful claim was lower at £306.

The council with the highest number of claims made against it was Hampshire (1,952), followed by Surrey (1,412) and Hertfordshire (1,369).

 

ENGLAND

(and GB)

 

2015/16

Local Authority

Rank based on 2015/16 number of claims

Number of claims

Value of Successful Claims

Number of Successful Claims

Percentage of completed claims that were successful

Hampshire

1

1,952

£103,480

306

32%

Surrey

2

1,412

£143,060

262

27%

Hertfordshire

3

1,369

£88,459

184

14%

Kent

4

1,120

£30,948

112

10%

Lancashire

5

930

£38,629

96

17%

 

The Scottish council with the highest number of claims was Glasgow with 794 claims.

 

SCOTLAND

 

2015/16

Local Authority

Rank based on 2015/16 number of claims

Number of claims

Value of Successful Claims

Number of Successful Claims

Percentage of completed claims that were successful

Glasgow City

1

794

£13,929

57

9%

Edinburgh

2

512

£29,329

173

54%

Perth and Kinross

3

339

£11,562

41

37%

Renfrewshire

4

287

£21,351

116

55%

Dumfries & Galloway

5

275

£6,312

28

21%

 

The Welsh council with the highest number of claims was Cardiff with 237 claims.

 

WALES

 

2015/16

Local Authority

Rank based on 2015/16 number of claims

Number of claims

Value of Successful Claims

Number of Successful Claims

Percentage of completed claims that were successful

Cardiff

1

237

£11,952

51

50%

The Vale of Glamorgan

2

173

£7,327

39

56%

Swansea

3

97

£584

6

7%

Powys

4

77

£7,878

20

54%

Neath Port Talbot

5=

76

£3067

17

77%

Bridgend

5=

76

£8,234

40

66%

 

The only council in Great Britain to receive no claims for vehicle damage caused by potholes in 2015/16 was the Isles of Scilly. Orkney Council and the City of London received just one claim each.

The total number of claims received in 2015/16 by councils across Great Britain (31,483) is about a 9% increase on the previous year (28,971 claims in 2014/15) but less than the 48,945 claims made in 2013/14.

Three-year summary table:

 

 

Claims received by council highways authorities

Number of successful claims

(Percentage of all claims that were successful)

Value of successful claims

 

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

England

42,943

25,348

25,471

9,872

(23%)

6,143

(26%)

4,832

(27%)

£2,922,367

£1,876,056

£1,559,232

Scotland

4,511

2,746

4,733

1,126

(25%)

520

(21%)

749

(27%)

£228,161

£98,141

£162,674

Wales

1,491

877

1,279

266

(18%)

134

(17%)

249

(33%)

£72,960

£30,585

£62,332

GB

48,945

28,971

31,483

11,264

(26%)

6,797

(25%)

5,830

(27%)

£3,223,488

£2,004,782

£1,784,238

 

(Note, an exact comparison cannot be made because of slight annual differences in the number of councils who responded to FOI requests and whose data was subsequently used: 201 councils in 2013/14, 200 councils in 2014/15, 204 councils in 2015/16.) 

The government’s own assessment is that there is a road maintenance backlog of up to £8.6 billion. The latest annual ALARM survey of local authority highways departments puts it at £11.8 billion. 

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“These figures are symptomatic of the inadequate funding available for local road maintenance.

“Year in, year out, the backlog of work on local roads is estimated to run to several billion pounds.

“A pitted road surface isn’t just a problem for motorists – for those on two wheels it can be life threatening.

“Just last week the Chancellor acknowledged that there had been decades of underfunding in the nation’s infrastructure and that he was keen to support targeted, value-for-money public investment. Providing the funds to fix our roads would be a great place to start and would show rapid results.”

Contact:

Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

philip.gomm@racfoundation.org | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Steve Gooding – Director – RAC Foundation

Steve.gooding@racfoundation.org | 07912 177450 | 020 7747 3445

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: www.racfoundation.org  

This is the full list of pothole compensation claims for GB councils in alphabetic order:

www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/GB_FOI_pothole_2015_16.pdf

This is the full list of pothole compensation claims for English councils ranked by number of claims:

www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/England_FOI_pothole_2015_16.pdf

This is the full list of pothole compensation claims for Scottish councils ranked by number of claims:

www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/Scotland_FOI_pothole_2015_16.pdf

This is the full list of pothole compensation claims for Welsh councils ranked by number of claims:

www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/Wales_FOI_pothole_2015_16.pdf

HM Treasury 2015 estimate of road maintenance backlog:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/443898/Productivity_Plan_web.pdf

2016 ALARM survey:

http://www.asphaltindustryalliance.com/images/library/files/ALARM%202016/ALARM_survey_2016_full_report.pdf

 

 

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