By Denna Bowman
Potholes have left a massive £50,000 dent in Birmingham City Council’s coffers after it has been forced to pay out for damage to tyres and other vehicle parts.
Motorists who have had to fork out for new tyres, wheels and suspension, have successfully claimed cash back from the council.
Birmingham City Council, which has paid out more than £50,000 in the last two years alone, is among authorities across the country which are being sued by motorists for failing to keep their highways in a safe condition.
Figures obtained by the Birmingham Mail under the Freedom of Information Act show that it settled 155 grievances out of court at a total cost of £50,394.
It meant that the council paid out an average of £325 per successful claim, mainly for damage to wheels, tyres and suspension. The most paid to a single claimant was £2,330.
A further 300 cases were rejected because the council cited a defence under Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980.
The legislation allows councils to refuse claims where it can prove that roads have been inspected and repairs carried out within two weeks of potholes being reported.
Drivers who are unsuccessful would have to claim against their own insurance, pay an excess and lose “no claims” discounts.
Duncan McClure Fisher, of potholes.co.uk, said drivers should not be deterred from claiming.
“If you can prove a council hasn’t followed its inspection schedules or that its schedule differs from the national standards for highway maintenance, then you have a strong case,” he said.