Fri, 14 Oct 2016
THE number of successful pothole claims in West Berkshire has drastically fallen in the last financial year, despite the total number of claims being put to the council remaining more or less the same.
New figures reveal West Berkshire Council paid out for just one pothole compensation claim of £251 in 2015/16, well below the £2,098 paid in 2014/15 for seven successful claims.
However the total number of claims put to the council has remained almost the same with 91 in 2015/16 and 90 claims made the year before.
The figures mean that just three per cent of the claims put to the local authority in 2015/16 ended up being successful – significantly below the national average of almost 27 per cent.
The data also reveals that West Berkshire Council received more requests for compensation than any other local authority in Berkshire with Windsor and Maidenhead council receiving 41 claims, Bracknell Forest and Reading received 27 claims and 16 claims respectively, and Slough received just five compensation claims.
Both Bracknell Forest and Reading Borough Council paid out for one successful claim each, while motorists in Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Slough received no payouts.
Wokingham Borough Council provided figures for the calendar year 2014 during which it received 39 claims with two of those successful.
The figures, released by the RAC Foundation, place West Berkshire 61st for the number of total claims made out of 204 local authorities across the country.
The council with the highest number of claims made against it was Hampshire (1,952), followed by Surrey (1,412) and Hertfordshire (1,369).
Across the UK drivers made 31,483 claims against councils for vehicle damage caused by poor road conditions equating to a claim being submitted every seventeen minutes in 2015/16.
A total of £1,559,232 was paid in compensation by councils.
Director of the RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding, 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.”