Pothole claims fall by 99 percent

POTHOLE ALLIE .... Rothbury Ave Jarrow has 92 potholes in the road
POTHOLE ALLIE .... Rothbury Ave Jarrow has 92 potholes in the road

Compensation paid by Kirklees Council to owners of vehicles damaged by potholes have decreased by more than 99 percent in just four years.

According to figures from the council after a Freedom of Information request from the Reporter Series revealed the council has paid out just £3,840.87 in 2013 for repairs on cars damaged by council roads, compared to £460,727.23 in 2009.

The drop is all the more remarkable, as the council’s capital roads budget was nearly halved during that time – from £23,407,000 in 2009/10 to £11,993,000 in 2011/12.

Council cabinet members again warned this week that some rural roads may have to be shut to traffic in the coming years due to a £75m road repairs backlog.

Coun Peter McBride, the cabinet member for Place, insisted roads in Kirklees still face huge problems.

He said: “In terms of road repairs, I don’t think the council have altered their decision in any way.

“We need more money from central government to repair these roads, we don’t get enough money to repair the miles of roads we have.”

A spokeswoman for road safety charity Brake said: “Potholes pose a hazard to all road users, including cyclists and motorcyclists who may have to swerve to avoid them. Investing in road repairs can help prevent a serious crash.”

The council’s highways department would not comment on reasons for the decreases.