Over the past few years, it feels like the UK has been at the centre of a pothole pandemic. Drivers and pedestrians alike often find themselves swerving off course to prevent damage or injury being caused by these dangerous obstacles.
Although you can come across potholes at any time of year, they tend to form during the winter months. Over time groundwater forms under the road’s surface and as the cold weather arrives, the water freezes and expands. The consequence of this is that cracks appear in the road, which in turn create potholes.
While most drivers try their best to avoid them, many of us have been caught off guard and experienced the sudden teeth-gritting thud of a pothole.
Unfortunately, drivers can be left with vehicle damage and personal injury after feeling the full wrath of a pothole. Whether you own or lease a car, it can be frustrating to have your vehicle damaged by one of the potholes across the country and many drivers seek compensation from their local council.
With claims for damage and personal injury caused by potholes rocketing since 2018, we wanted to find out which councils have the highest and lowest number of cases, and the amount of money they’ve had to pay in compensation.
Which 10 councils received the most compensation claim requests?
We can confirm that Surrey County Council tops the list with a total of 3,533 claims, followed by Hampshire (2,665), Hertfordshire (2,190) and Kent (2,048).
Which 10 councils received the fewest compensation claim requests
If Richmond Upon Thames Borough Council could see the results from some of their fellow councils, they would be pleased with a total of two claims. Also at the lower end of the scale are Islington (23), Waltham (24) and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (26).
Which 10 councils paid the most compensation?
With a total number of 3,533 claims made, it’s no surprise that it’s Surrey County Council who paid the most in compensation; with a staggering £323,222 being given to people who have suffered damage to their car or personal injury as a result of potholes. Other councils with big compensation payouts include Bury (£217,992.15), Northamptonshire (£214,804.22) and Cumbria (£181,687).
Which 10 councils paid the least compensation?
Both Sutton Borough and Islington Borough Councils revealed they haven’t had to compensate for any pothole claims. Redbridge (£302.14), Rotherham (£353.00) and Sefton (£582.60) all feature at the lower end of the scale for compensation payouts.
Which location is the pothole capital of the UK?
Our extensive research shows that Surrey County Council has felt the biggest impact from potholes claims.
The council was top of the list for both the number of claims made and the amount they’ve had to pay out in compensation.
We can reveal that out of all the councils we contacted, a total of 37,578 claims have been made, amounting to an eye-watering £3,520,538.38 being paid in compensation.
We want to hear your pothole stories – whether it’s damage that has been caused to your vehicle or a nuisance pothole that has been in your local area for a long period of time. Share your stories on social using #PotholePandemic.
*Methodology: We sent an FOI request to each council listed through whatdotheyknow.com. The date range for number of requests received is from 1st January 2018-17th October 2019.