Nearly £18,000 of taxpayers’ money has been paid out to drivers for pothole damage in Gloucestershire.
The figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request to Gloucestershire County Council show that £17,774 has been paid in compensation to motorists for pothole-related damage over the last three years.
Now, the county’s Liberal Democrats have expressed bitter disappointment with the Conservative controlled Council for not properly investing in the area’s roads.
Liberal Democrat Shadow for Highways, Cllr. Chris Coleman (St Mark’s and St Peter’s) said:
“A total of 1,713 unsurprisingly annoyed drivers made claims for compensation between November 2013 and November 2016. This is a lose-lose situation for everyone, whether they are motorists, councils or taxpayers.
“People already have to fork out so much to drive a car, the least they should expect is that their vehicle doesn’t get ruined by a bumpy road.
“Thousands of pounds are now being spent on pay-outs that could have been invested instead in fixing our roads.
“Roads should be fixed quickly so this compensation does not have to be paid out in the first place.
“It is about time the Conservatives sorted out our county roads for good.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Gloucestershire County Council, Cllr. Paul Hodgkinson (Bourton & Northleach) added:
“The volume of claims is large for A roads. I’m not at all surprised given the correspondence I get regularly from constituents who have damaged their cars driving through potholes.
“The spike in claims in Spring 2016 reflects the massive backlog in repairs which GCC’s roads contractor Amey was experiencing. It also came at the end of a very wet winter when so many potholes appeared.
“It highlights a failure by the Conservatives who have been responsible for roads in the county for the last 12 years. They need to invest more in road maintenance and improve the quality of repairs. It is the number one thing people raise with me and it has to improve.”
Nationally a total of £12 million has been paid out over the last four years on pothole compensation, with an average payment per person of £650.