Potholes

A car approaches potholes in Priory Road, Hull, East Yorkshire, UK.
Yes, you can claim for buckle and alloy wheel damage.

Step-by-step guide

With the help of experts in the field of highway engineering, local government and those who defend claims against local authorities, Potholes.co.uk has put together a step-by-step guide to help you make a claim if a pothole has damaged your car.

Gather evidence

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.

Report the pothole

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.

Submit a Freedom of Information Act

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.

Don't be deterred

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.

Read the national code

Step 5: Read the national code

Download the national code of good practice for highway maintenance.

Make your claim

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.

Analyse your council's practice

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

Consider your case carefully

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.

Step 9: Don’t be hasty

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

Be willing to negotiate

Step 10: Be willing to negotiate

If an offer is made, be willing to negotiate and maybe accept less than you claimed for.

The creation of Potholes in Scarborough.
In Scarborough  recently  Network Gas men have been drilling little holes in our  road, inserting a probe, then putting a cap in the hole. On our road alone there must be around 10/15 of these holes.
They are drilling all over Scarborough, and when I am out and about the Yorkshire & Teeside area I notice a lot of gas road works. These may be the start of the dreaded pot hole!
Scarborough roads and surrounding areas are full of potholes and we have a lot of gas works it seems to go together. As you can see the cap is not a great fit so water etc gets in and with the icy weather freezes etc then we get a big hole 
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3 Responses to Potholes

  1. admin says:

    Pothole fightback: One in eight motorists suffer damage from council negligence – but you can grab compensation if you’re one of them

    One in eight motorists have suffered damage to their cars from neglected roads and potholes in the past two years, with millions of pounds being paid out in compensation by cash-strapped councils, research has found.

    The one in three local authorities that responded to a nationwide survey revealed that they had paid out £4.8million after claims by drivers following two harsh winters and the crumbling state of Britain’s patchwork roads.

    With data lacking from two out of three councils, this means the compensation bill for this period could well be up to £15million.

    If your car has been damaged by a pothole, you could well be able to get the council to cover the costs – skip to the bottom to find out how to do it.

    Britannia Rescue issued Freedom of Information requests to 434 city, district, borough and county councils – 143 responded with at least one piece of data, while 291 are either yet to respond, said that they did not keep the data, or that they were not responsible for road maintenance in their area.

    Since 2010, more than 54,000 compensation claims have been made to the councils in Britain that supplied figures to the survey.

    The claims ranged from potholes ruining wheel rims, to punctured tyres and damaged suspension between 2010-11 and 2011-12.

    It found that Surrey County Council alone has spent more than £630,000 since 2010 on 3,650 payouts to motorists for vehicle damage caused by neglected roads and potholes.

    The combination of a wet summer and a cold winter has particularly harmed road surfaces, with potholes forming after water seeps down below the road surface and freezes, loosening the asphalt. Experts say the problem is exacerbated by repeated digging up of roads by utility companies, which then simply patch them up rather than resurfacing a full stretch – making them more likely to fall apart.

    Among all motorists, three quarters believe road surfaces are now in a worse state than they were five years ago while 49 per cent saying they are much worse.

    The above extract is from This is Money

  2. sam says:

    2 years ago my vehicle suffered damage to the suspension due to bad roads in uckfield, despite me report ting that the potholes needed to be filled, which took them nearly a month ,by then my car had endured extensive damage wheels and suspension , my mechanic put this in writing.i wasn’t like it when i bought the car, i sent photos of the potholes ,bills from my mechanic,who even knocked the labour off,as he knew i was struggling.i sent lots of letters/and phone calls.i was told after 3 months that my claim was being assessed ,then after another 2 months, i was told i was unsuccessful in my claim,i was furious,as only a very small percentage are successful in getting a payout.and good luck to them.

    • admin says:

      Dear Sam,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about the damage to your vehicle that was most likely caused by the bad condition of Uckfield roads.
      From what you have said I believe that you’ve correctly followed the procedures for reporting the damage that was caused by the council’s badly maintained roads. Please can you post on the blog their reason why your claim was unsuccessful; they are required to provide you with a valid reason. When your claim gets rejected, often under section 58 of the Highways Act, don’t worry – this is to be expected and not the end of the story. It is important that you are not deterred and continue pursing your claim; YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BY DOING SO. The council should be held to account, if motorists don’t pursue for successful conclusions to genuine claims then the council will not have the incentive to correctly repair pothole damage and maintain our roads.

      Colm
      Smart Alloy

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