Motorists grumble about potholes and the state of our roads – but very few have a genuine claim for compensation.
Figures show that 201 vehicle damage claims were submitted to Kirklees Council in 2015/16 – and only 19 of them were successful, with five decisions remaining.
Kirklees Council paid £4,991.26 in compensation to the successful claimants.
So far in 2016/17 96 vehicle damage claims have been submitted to Kirklees Council – and only 11 of those were successful. A further 27 have decisions pending and 56 have been rejected.
So far Kirklees has paid £2,105.31 in compensation to the successful claimants.
The amount paid in compensation varies from £55 to £826 in 2015/16 as a result of damage caused to vehicles.
So far in 2016/17 it varies from £45 to £1,070.64.
Kirklees has conducted a series of pothole repair tests to find solutions that were long-term and not a quick fix; cost effective and offer value for money; efficient so Kirklees staff can repair potholes quickly; and suitable for rural and urban terrain.
The council said: “Traffic, heavy rain, flooding and cold winter weather takes its toll on the road surface so we examined different repair options that could best cope with changing conditions.
“This was the first time that we tested the various options in a more controlled environment of Kirklees against the same criteria which does not just focus on the usual – cost, productivity, quality but also the customer view.
“Ultimately we needed to understand the impact of the methods on the public such as thoughts around disruption, finished product, ride quality.”
And they also changed their approach to repairs. Workers sent out with a list of potholes to fill will now look around the area they’re working and fill unreported potholes as well.
Kirklees says it “addressed one of the main frustrations that residents had told us about – missing the opportunity to repair potholes when we are working in that area.”
Kirklees is still assessing the tests adding: “We can only conclude what the best option for the future is when we test the resilience and longevity of our repairs in all-weather circumstances across the challenging topography of Kirklees.
“This includes the winter months as extreme weather conditions historically causes more damage to the road surface resulting in an increase in the number of potholes reported. Although we have started an initial evaluation, no final decision has yet been made that would inform our plans for 2017 and beyond.”
But budgets are tight - in 15/16 Kirklees had £909k to spent on potholes and reactive patching; while the budget for 17/18 is £715k,