Every pothole compensation payout since North Northamptonshire Council was formed

Fewer than 10 per cent of claims have been successful

Thursday, 30th December 2021, 7:00 am

Just six compensation claims for damage caused by potholes were successful in the first six months of North Northamptonshire Council' s existence.

Fewer than ten per cent of claims resulted in a payout - with one sum of £1,044.55 covering more than half of the total paid to motorists.

Using Freedom of Information laws the Northants Telegraph asked North Northamptonshire Council for details of the number of pothole reports, compensation claims and payouts since the authority was formed (April 1, 2021).

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Pothole file picture

Data released by the council - which covered the period to November 19 - showed a total of 1,234 potholes were reported to them.

They received a total of 69 claims for compensation but just six were successful.

Two of these were for damage caused by a crater in Weldon Road, Corby. One, after an incident on May 9 at 12.45pm, resulted in a payout of £1,044.55. The other (April 18, 9.30am) saw a motorist receive £142.52.

Another two of the successful claims came after motorists suffered damage from a pothole in Doddington Road, Wellingborough, just a week apart. One motorist (June 21, 6.30pm) received £117 and a second (June 28, 4.30am) was given £71.17.

The other two payouts came after claims over potholes in Rushton Road, Desborough (June 23, 8.25am, £243.80) and the A6003 Uppingham Road (April 4, 4.30pm, £371.69).

The total paid out by the council was £1990.72.

A North Northamptonshire Council spokesman said they have a statutory defence against claims where they can prove that 'reasonable care' was taken to ensure that the pothole wasn't dangerous to motorists.

The spokesman said: “We inspect the roads and footways all year round but also ask that people use our Street Doctor service to report any defects.

"If defects meet our intervention levels they will be repaired as part of our programme.

“When using the Street Doctor service we ask that they provide as much detail as possible to include an exact location.

“The council has no influence over whether a motorist makes a claim or not. However Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980 provides the council with a statutory defence against claims where it can establish that reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous to traffic."