Thousands of pounds of taxpayers money has been paid out to motorists because of the poor state of the roads in Crawley.
A total of £5,524 was handed out by West Sussex County Council to vehicle owners whose cars suffered damaged suspensions, broken tyres and scuffs to paintwork.
A local paper investigation revealed that the town has the worst roads in West Sussex, with 20 successful compensation claims made in a year after drivers damaged their cars on potholes.
The type of clay beneath Crawley’s roads has been blamed for the town pothole problems.
Highways authority West Sussex County Council says the clay, allied to the poor winter weather, has caused the town’s roads to deteriorate and led to several compensation claims by motorists.
The figures show Crawley tops the list for the highest number of pothole-related payouts by highways authority West Sussex County Council.
Henry Smith, leader of the county council, has defended the payouts, which were made between July 2008 and June 2009.
Mr Smith said the authority has spent an extra £1.2 million in the past year on repairing potholes and also claimed it had £2 million worth of highways funding slashed by central government.
He added: “The problems we have experienced this year with potholes have not been unique to West Sussex with every highway authority suffering due to the very severe weather conditions with heavy rain following freezing conditions.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team