Dudley Council pay out nearly £15k in pothole compensation

Sunday, 28 January 2024 19:23

By Martyn Smith, Local Democracy Reporter

Cllr Damian Corfield, cabinet member for highways and environmental services

Dudley Council paid out nearly £15,000 in compensation to motorists whose vehicles were damaged by potholes last year.

The authority received 760 complaints about potholes in 2023 and coughed up £14,835 to cover the damage caused by dodgy road surfaces.

The payouts continued despite promises from the authority’s highways chief to get tough on potholes and make repairs more robust. Speaking in June, Cllr Damian Corfield, cabinet member for highways and environmental services, said:

“We have regular inspections and repairs to the highways which are patched rather than filling in the potholes. They last a lot longer that way – up to a decade longer. That’s a smarter way of working and means people will have good roads to travel on.”

Despite the council’s efforts, complaints continued and more than 600 reports were lodged with the authority between June and August and by October 6,254 square metres of repairs had been completed in 2023. In October, Cllr Corfield added:

“Potholes and highways defects are a continuous battle but I have made it clear that I want this to be a priority. Many other councils face similar issues with road surfaces and we are all having to make lots of repairs.

“Snow and ice earlier in the year caused significant damage to the borough’s highways. Reports of potholes from the public more than tripled in the following months.

“We will continue to target this issue, particularly in areas where we know we have a specific need and do all we can to make sure our roads are in the best condition they can be for everyone.”

Motorists may be eligible for compensation if their vehicle is damaged by the condition of the road. Most motorways and A-roads are managed by Highways England while most other roads are the responsibility of the local authority.

To make a claim motorists should contact the appropriate authority with details of what the damage was, when and where it happened and why the complainant believes the authority is liable.

The AA says authorities are more likely to pay out if detailed evidence is provided, including photographs if it is safe to take them at the scene.


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