Jun 012016

£50 million PotholesThe British Government recently announced the allocation of the first £50 million of a five-year, £250 million ‘pothole fund’ has been welcomed but doesn’t go nearly far enough, says road maintenance campaign website, Potholes.co.uk.

The site, set up in 2007 by automotive specialist, Warranty Direct, campaigning nearly ten years now for a permanent solution to the dilapidated state of the nation’s road, rather than the ‘patch and mend’ mentality currently adopted by local authorities.

March’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) report estimated that there is a 10-year backlog of potholes that need to be fixed, at a cost of £11.8 billion.

With pothole damage to suspension and axle parts on cars costing motorists an average of £350, according to Warranty Direct’s database of 50,000 live policies, Warranty Direct Chief Operating Officer Philip Ward says that the £50 million recently pledged will not bring a solution to the pothole plague.

He said: “If the Government wishes to put more money towards road maintenance, it’s very welcomed to do so. But £50 million won’t allow local authorities to carry out the repairs to the standard road users expect.”

“What this money will do is help them fill in a few potholes with the same temporary solution that has caused the massive backlog that now exists and ultimately the roads will, sadly, still be prone to potholes forming.”

“I feel more for the drivers as they are the ones travelling our road networks and unfortunately the ones who will pay for it in the short to medium term, when repairs are needed for their vehicle and they’re forced to sort out the repair bill.”

Potholes.co.uk offers motorists an outlet to post stories about pothole encounters they have suffered, warn other drivers about dangerous craters and seek advice about how to claim compensation from local authorities, with a comprehensive step-by-step column detailing how to navigate the compensation process.

Potholes.co.uk’s 10-step process to claim compensation for pothole damage

Step 1: Gather evidence

Gather evidence of the pothole as soon as you hit it. As long as it’s completely safe to do so, take photographs, measure the pothole’s width and depth and note anything else about it, such as its position on a blind corner, whether it was hidden from view, etc.

Step 2: Report the pothole

Report the pothole on Potholes.co.uk and to the relevant council or highways agency – being a “good citizen” and helping other motorists will do your case no harm.

About reporting the pothole
Find out who is responsible for the road

 Step 3: Submit a Freedom of Information Act

Submit a Freedom of Information Act to the relevant council or highways agency to find out how often the road is inspected and maintained.

About Freedom of Information requests

 Step 4: Don’t be deterred

If (or when!) your claim gets rejected under section 58 of the Highways Act, don’t panic – this is to be expected and not the end of the story.

What is Section 58 of the Highways Act?

 Step 5: Read the national code

Download the national code of good practice for highway maintenance.

Find the code at http://www.ukroadsliaisongroup.org/roads/code_of_practice.htm

 Step 6: Make your claim

Stay calm at all times – remember when contacting a council that anything you say could be read out in court, so make sure you sound professional as much as you can and never lose your temper.

More information about making your claim

 Step 7: Analyse your council’s practice

Highlight both where your council’s maintenance programme mirrors the code and where it differs – this will help you consider how they may fight your claim.

 Step 8: Consider your case carefully

Consider your case carefully – if the council’s inspection policy mirrors the national code and they’ve followed what they are supposed to, your claim is unlikely to succeed.

Assessing the council or highways agency’s defence

 Step 9: Don’t be hasty

Don’t rush to issue Court proceedings or appoint a solicitor.

 Step 10: Be willing to negotiate

Many people blame local authorities for the state of the UK’s roads – at Potholes.co.uk, we’ve always thought that is not entirely fair. Local councils do what they can to maintain the roads with the meagre road maintenance budgets they are given but it simply has never been an adequate level of funding. That’s not the local councils’ fault – it is more down to central Government to provide a more realistic maintenance budget to pay for better repairs that will last longer and start chipping away at the horrendous backlog that has built up over many years of inadequate maintenance.

Oct 152015

Potholes_logoWith potholes estimated to cause as many as 1 in 10 mechanical failures on UK roads and costing motorists an estimated £730 million every year, Potholes.co.uk has been created to help you avoid the cost and misery they cause thanks to Warranty Direct.

The website can provide information advising how to make a claim against a local council regarding pothole damage to your car or if you just want to report a poor piece of road. With access to similar stories and related news, Potholes.co.uk aims to help motorists fight back against this road misery.

You can also follow Potholes.co.uk’s Facebook page where the latest stories regarding pothole disasters and triumphs are shared. Here’s a selection of recently shared news stories this past week:

Derby City Council Defends Pothole Fixing Record – Derby Telegraph







Derby City Council has declared that they’re pulling out all the stops to fill potholes across Derby roads. They’re backing up with the claim by announcing that the council has seen an increase of nearly 50% in productivity regarding road resurfacing.

Angus Council declares ‘Victory’ over county potholes – The Courier






Having set some ambitious targets regarding road maintenance, Angus council are declaring victory against potholes as they edge ever closer to hitting their goals. A proposed review of how potholes are tackled should benefit from this achievement as the winter months approach.

“Wrong” kind of Pothole will not be fixed quickly – Western Morning News







A new trial policy put forward by Devon County Council might throw a spanner in the works when it comes to resurfacing roads affected by Potholes. The “wrong” kind of pothole may be classed as a low priority. Suffice to say, the logistics of this trial policy have not gone down well with residents and politicians in the area.

To see more stories from the world of potholes, you can follow Potholes.co.uk’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.