Pothole damage payouts could’ve filled 340,000 potholes

Asphalt road with a very large and deep pothole filled with water.

Ever received compensation for pothole-related damage?

Last year, councils coughed up almost £27 million in payouts to drivers whose cars suffered after driving over potholes.

This large sum of money could have repaired more than a third of a million potholes instead.

The cause of the problem

More than a quarter of local authorities’ budgets were spent actually fixing potholes, as councils poured £93.7 million into repairing 1.4 million of them at a cost of £67 per pothole.

Citroen UK crunched the numbers supplied by the Department of Transport and road construction trade body Asphalt Industry Alliance and found that compensation payouts totalling £11.6 million were made to motorists. A further £11.1 million was then spent on claims handling, giving a grand total that could have seen another 340,000 potholes repaired instead.

Since 2017, Citroen found that almost £140 million has been spent paying compensation to motorists suffering tyre, wheel and suspension damage after striking potholes, a sum that could’ve filled an extra 2.3 million potholes.

The bigger picture

According to a survey from the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), one in five roads – equivalent to 37,000 miles of tarmac – are in such poor condition that they have less than five years of life left in them.

A total of around £14 billion is needed to fix every pothole in England and Wales. This estimate is £2 billion higher than one made in last year’s survey and £5 billion more than was needed in 2012.

While the Government recently announced an additional £200 million of investment in pothole repairs, meaning a total budget of £700 million for 2023/24, there are approximately 100,000 miles of asphalt that will need rebuilding at some point in the next 15 years.

Potholes are taking over UK roads, with nearly half of drivers swerving to avoid them on a daily basis. Read more here.

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