Motorists make more than 1,000 pothole compo claims to Leeds City Council in two years

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Drivers have filed over a thousand compensation claims against Leeds City Council in the past two years for damage caused to their cars by potholes, new figures have revealed.

In 2012/2013 the local authority received 785 claims, paying out over £99,000 to motorists who made successful claims.

In 2013/2014 it paid out almost £30,000 after 96 of the 332 drivers who sought compensation had their applications approved, according to the statistics.

Two hundred local highways authorities in England, Scotland and Wales responded to Freedom of Information requests from the RAC Foundation. The councils dealt with a total of 48,664 compensation claims in 2013/14 - an increase on the 2012/13 figure of 46,139 claims.

Councils across Britain refused the majority of claims, agreeing to pay out in less than a quarter of cases.

The total value of successful claims was £3.2m. Nationwide, the average payout for a successful claim in 2013/14 was £286, down from £357 the year before.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said last night the figures were “likely to be the tip of the iceberg” and said councils were not given enough money for roads.

“But the fundamental problem lies not at the doors of our town halls but with central government,” he said. “Despite occasional one-off grants related to periods of harsh weather, they are simply not giving councils enough money to keep their road networks up to scratch.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said: “Good local roads are vital for our transport network and it is for local councils to maintain them properly - this Government has provided over £4.7bn since 2010, an increase of £1bn compared to the previous parliament.

“As part of our long term economic plan, we will also spend a further £6 billion between 2015 and 2021.”

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