Motorists’ Damage Claims Rise Amid Pothole Crisis

The weather is not great for any vehicle, we all know that – but another danger presents itself when budget-conscious and financially-strapped councils fall behind on road repairs too. This problem is especially exacerbated when we are coming out of winter, when our roads have been subject to freezing conditions, snow and sleet, and shovelfuls of grit and salt.

The contrasting temperatures experienced between night and day can work on the road surface in much the same way it does on natural rocks, causing weathering and erosion. This creates that bane to all drivers – potholes!

While potholes are to be expected on any road at some point, problems arise when roads are subjected to worse than usual temperature fluctuations (as we experienced last year), excessive rain (areas of Suffolk are still suffering) and less than recommended maintenance. Roads should be regularly inspected for signs of impending damage and small cracks that, if ignored, will deepen and widen.

Sadly, the extreme weather that the UK has experienced over the last few years coincides with local councils being tasked with shaving millions off their annual costs. Unfortunately many of the councils decided to reduce the money spent on road maintenance and repair and this has resulted in the roads in many areas looking very much the worse for wear.

Unfortunately, this ‘money saving’ idea has backfired, quite spectacularly, with nearly 40,000 motorists putting in claims for injury or vehicular damage caused by potholes to their councils – you can read a full report here. This does not mean that the drivers were happy after receiving their compensation cheques as councils paid out to each driver, on average, only one-sixth of the amount that claimants received in 2012.

However, when you compare the fact that claimants in 2012 received around £2.264.00 and those in 2013 received £375.00 to the fact that each pothole costs about £50.00 to fix it quickly becomes clear that repairing each pothole promptly is still the cheapest method of dealing with the issue. After all, each pothole could damage several cars per day and the cost of even reduced compensation will quickly add up.

The government has recently announced that it is going to make £140 million available to local councils to repair the damage caused by the poor weather. Hopefully, this will see compensation figures falling this year as roads are returned to a good, drivable condition. At C R MacDonald Ltd, we have vast experience of the road surfacing industry, and can get your business’ car park, driveway or forecourt back into good operational status.

So, if the poor weather has caused havoc with your tarred surfaces this winter (or if the damage from previous years has been worsened), give us a call today. One of our team is waiting to take your call, and can guide you through the whole process, from planning to final fruition.