Pothole damage compensation payments could have filled 340,000 potholes

Compensation claims totalling £22.7m were paid out to motorists in the last year

Using data from the Department for Transport and the Asphalt Industry Alliance, Citroën found that in the last year, local authorities in England and Wales spent a total of £93.7m fixing more than 1.4m potholes, at an average cost of £66.93 per repair.

During this period, compensation claims totalling £22.7m were paid out to motorists. These costs are made up of payouts equaling £11.6m, and staffing costs spent handling claims of £11.1m.

The money spent on compensation claims could have filled in an additional 340,000 potholes.

Since 2017, a total of £139.9m has been spent on damage compensation, which could have filled an additional 2.3m potholes. At the same time, between 2017 and 2021, police forces in England and Wales recorded 1114 accidents on the roads that resulted in injury due to a ‘defective road surface’, with 355 people ‘seriously injured’ and 16 killed.

Serious injuries are classed as those that require hospitalisation as an in-patient, including fractures, severe cuts, burns and internal injuries.

The research found a worsening picture on Britain’s roads. The frequency roads being resurfaced, on average, is now every 116 years, up 46 years from a lifespan of 70 years estimated in 2022. The average cost of filling a pothole rose to £66.93 in the latest data set, up from £63.18 the year before, and 300,000 fewer potholes were filled in compared the previous year.

The one-time catch-up cost (the total cost of repairing roads back to a condition when the network can be managed cost effectively), now stands at £14.2bn – up from £12.64bn in 2022.

In 2017, the one-time catch-up cost stood at £12.6bn – it dropped to £9.3bn in 2018, before gradually rising in the years since.

Citroën is offering a Free Pothole Damage Inspection for Citroën owners, including checks for damage caused to wheels, suspension, and tyres.

The Free Pothole Damage Inspection, which is available until 30 June, includes checks on areas most commonly affected by poor road surfaces. Tyres are checked for damage, bulges, cuts, and tread depth. Wheels are checked for cracks and damage too.

Key suspension components, such as coil springs and ball joints are also inspected. Retailers will also check tyre pressures and adjust these back to the recommended levels as part of the process. Where possible, retailers will also offer wheel alignment – at an additional cost.

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