Council paid out more than £350k in compensation to road users in Lancashire last year

Lancashire County Council ranked among one of the top councils for road compensation payouts, having forked out more than £350,000 in compensation to road users in 2020.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 3:45 pm
Lancashire County Council paid out more than £350,000 in compensation last year
Lancashire County Council paid out more than £350,000 in compensation last year

Road users across Lancashire were given a total of £352,621 last year in compensation for damage caused by potholes and other highway incidents.

The news comes as it was revealed that nationally, more than £8 million was forked out by councils and paid to bikers and motorists to settle damage caused on the roads.

But Lancashire County Council has said that this figure has still 'drastically reduced' after it invested to improve the quality of the roads in the county, adding that Lancashire is one of the biggest counties in the country.

Potholes were among the reasons for highway claims

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Phil Durnell, Lancashire County Councils director of highways and transport, said: "We're the fourth largest council in the country and are responsible for more than 7,500 kilometres of roads.

"The compensation we payout has drastically reduced because we've invested a great deal to improve our roads. Surveys have shown that the condition of our highway network is improving as a result.

"We've also put a lot of work into both inspecting and repairing our highways to reduce the number of claims we pay out compensation for. We regularly review claim outcomes and the number of claims that do not result in compensation being paid has improved as a result.

"All claims are investigated in line with current legislation."

Compensation claims can take some months to process, so even though these claims were settled in 2020, many of the incidents could have occurred in previous years.

Lancashire County Council confirmed that the compensation claim for vehicle-related incidents for 2020 comes to less than £50,000 in total.

Dan Powell, Senior Editor at heycar, who submitted the Freedom of Information request to councils across the country, said: “Potholes are such a familiar sight, and I’m sure everyone will have a top ‘worst road’ in their area that comes to mind when potholes are mentioned - but they’re much more than just an inconvenience.

“They’re causing real damage to people and their vehicles and the rate at which potholes are appearing is too fast for councils to keep up with. So even more claims will be coming, further reducing the funds available for road repairs.

“Driving should be a feelgood experience, especially after the restrictions of the past year. However, poorly maintained roads only lead to concern and frustration. The pothole crisis only appears to be getting worse, and more funds need to be allocated to help councils fill them quicker.”

The RAC has said it attends more than 1,000 breakdowns every month where cars have been forced off the road after hitting a pothole.

In March this year, a study from the Asphalt Industry Alliance estimated it would cost more than £10billion to fill them all in.

The LCC Road Maintenance Service carry out carriageway surface dressing work from May to August and reconstruction of roads and footways throughout the year.

Road faults can be reported to Lancashire County Council at its website HERE.

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