Council to receive £17m to fix Northamptonshire's roads after figures reveal about 500 drivers sue for pothole damage every year

A £1.1m designated pothole grant is included in a £17m package of Government funding aimed at fixing the county's routes.

Monday, 16th January 2017, 9:17 am
Updated Monday, 16th January 2017, 9:22 am
More than 2,000 people have sued the council for pothole damage over the past four years.

The Department for Transport has announced Northamptonshire is to receive £17.659m from the Government to use on highways maintenance in 2017/18, the third highest figure in the East Midlands – but less than half that of Lincolnshire.

Of that the county is to receive £1.171m from the Pothole Action Fund, a ring-fenced scheme which must be spent on fixing the county’s bumpy highways.

And in 2017/18 the Government has also designated an as-yet-unknown amount to help make the A361 between Kilsby and the A5 in Daventry safer.

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Councils across the country found out what share of the £1.2bn highways funding they would receive yesterday.

In the East Midlands, Lincolnshire will receive the largest amount, £35.419m.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “The funding we have allocated is focused on relieving congestion and providing important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future.”

The fund to help alleviate potholes in the county comes as figures reveal 2,051 people have sued the county council in the past four years after their cars were damaged by a pothole.

The Freedom of Information request shows the council had to pay out a total of £94,468.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The public recognises that the roads require a great deal of attention, as surfaces have suffered due to underinvestment in the past and the cumulative effects of severe winters.

“There’s a great deal of work that still needs to be done and that is why highways maintenance remains a high priority.”

The council has no influence over whether a motorist makes a claim or not, though Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980 provides councils with a statutory defence against claims where it can establish care was taken to ensure that part of the highway was not dangerous.