By Denna Bowman
The bill to compensate motorists for damage to their tyres and cars caused by potholes is higher than the cost of repairing the roads, according to a shocking report.
Insurance claims are already rocketing due to the appalling state of the countries roads, which are particularly devastating for alloy wheels with low profile tyres, according to the AA.
But now the Daily Mail has highlighted the true cost of the pothole menace which has scarred the country’s roads and got even worse since the bitter winter snap caused hundreds more holes to appear.
The newspaper reports: ‘With insurance claims soaring – the winter cold snap caused hundreds of thousands of new holes – it was revealed yesterday that councils are spending more on compensation for potholes than they are on filling them in.
‘Local authorities spent £65 million on claims for damaged vehicles and injusred drivers in 2007 – £53 million in compensation and £12 million on the cost of handling claims.
‘But the Asphalt Industry Alliance says only £52 million was used to fix craters in the same period.’
Jim Crick, chairman of the Asphalt Industry Alliance, told the Daily Mail: ‘Highways maintenance is still suffering from, historically, being treated as the Cinderella service.’
The AIA adds that there is a £1 billion shortfall in highway maintenance budgets and an 11-year backlog of maintenance work. On some roads, resurfacing happens just once in 65 years.
The cost of filling in a pothole varies from £41 in London to £45 in Wales and £69 across the rest of England.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said: ‘It is clearly absurd that a pothole which costs only £50 to fill in may end up costing the council thousands in compensation.’