Posted: Sun 3rd Dec 2023

AA reports 12% increase in pothole incidents: how to claim compensation

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Dec 3rd, 2023

The UK is witnessing a significant surge in pothole-related breakdowns, with the AA reporting a record 52,541 call-outs in October alone. This alarming figure represents a 12% increase compared to the previous year, underscoring a growing concern for drivers nationwide.

Drivers are being advised by the AA to exercise caution and avoid puddles where possible, as they often conceal dangerous potholes.

With the UK experiencing prolonged wet weather and wintery conditions, the roads have become increasingly vulnerable to deterioration, exacerbating the pothole problem.

In response to the escalating issue, the UK government has allocated an additional £8 billion for pothole repairs in England.

However, this figure falls short of the £14 billion councils estimate is required, raising questions about the adequacy of current funding strategies.

Notably, no announcement has been made regarding extra funding for councils in Wales.

For those whose vehicles suffer pothole damage, there is a silver lining. Consumer watchdog Which? confirms that drivers are entitled to claim repair costs from the relevant local authority. The process involves gathering evidence such as photos of the pothole and the damage, noting down witness details, and keeping receipts for any repairs.

Reporting Potholes: A Crucial Step

Reporting potholes is not just a civic duty but also strengthens one’s case for compensation.

Councils and the Highways Agency allow pothole reporting on their websites, and organizations like Cycling UK offer platforms like Fill That Hole to facilitate this process.

Claiming Compensation: A Step-by-Step Guide

Claiming compensation involves providing evidence to the authority responsible for road maintenance. It is advisable to obtain repair quotes before filing a claim and to be aware of any specific protocols the council or Highways Agency may require.

Negotiating and Appealing

If initial compensation offers are unsatisfactory, drivers should not hesitate to negotiate for a better deal. In cases of claim rejection, there are formal appeal processes, including reviewing council road inspection reports to challenge their decisions.

Last Resort: The Small Claims Court

For unresolved cases, the small claims court remains an option. However, seeking legal advice is recommended as costs may be incurred if the case is lost.

The rising pothole incidents in the UK pose a significant challenge for drivers and local authorities alike.

While the government’s funding initiatives are a step in the right direction, there remains a considerable gap in addressing the full extent of the problem.

For drivers affected by pothole damages, understanding their rights and the claims process is crucial in navigating these turbulent roads.

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