Cumbria County Council has revealed their highways hotline – which enables the general public to report problems with road and pavement surfaces – was swamped with calls during January. The severe winter we have seen this year has had a damaging effect on the UK’s roads. This has started fears that local Councils will be flooded with claims for compensation from angry motorists.
Cumbria County Councils’ highway hotline received 865 calls during the wintry month of January, the majority of these being complaints about potholes. Tyre fitters and mechanics have also reported a rise in cars damaged by the poor state of Britain’s roads.
Before the recent spell of cold weather, the number of potholes on our roads was actually falling. The number of dangerous potholes recorded in Cumbria in 2009 was 6,646 while a whopping 10,475 were reported in 2008.
Despite spending £3 million on road repairs, Cumbria County Council were still forced to spend over £600,000 on successful claims for compensation from motorists over the last 4 years. The nationwide campaign group TaxPayers’ Alliance thinks that this is unacceptable. They reacted to the news by saying: “This is an exorbitant amount of money to spend on compensation claims and legal fees. If the council had maintained the roads properly in the first place then they could have avoided frittering away hundreds of thousands like this.”