Leeds pothole claims now top £600,000

HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE: Potholes on Thorn Walk, Gipton. PIC: Mark Bickerdike
HOLE LOT OF TROUBLE: Potholes on Thorn Walk, Gipton. PIC: Mark Bickerdike
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Highways bosses have forked out more than £620,000 in damages caused by the potholes in Leeds over the last five years.

Leeds City Council has received hundreds of claims for compensation from motorists after their cars were allegedly damaged by holes in the city’s roads.

More than 1,670 compensation claims have been submitted to the council since 2010. However. only a fraction of those have been paid out.

The number of claims made to the authority has also dwindled over the last three years.

Figures obtained by the YEP show that 355 claims were made by motorists for personal injury settlements or for repairs to their cars from potholes in Leeds last year.

Only 54 of those relating to vehicle damage cases were settled with payments ranging from just £35 to £2,330.

One personal injury claim payment of £500 was made last year.

Over 580 compensation bids were submitted to the council in 2011 but 92 payments were made for damage to vehicles.

Seven personal injury cases were settled during that same time – including one personal injury claim for £12,000.

A further 729 claims were submitted to the authority three years ago.

The council made 213 payments after vehicles were damaged by potholes with payments ranging from £26 to £4,232.

A further 11 personal injury cases were settled during that time and more than £26,218 was awarded in one case.

Last month the YEP revealed that highways bosses spent nearly £124m over the last five years repairing crumbling roads in Leeds.

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: “Water is the cause of most potholes, as it seeps into minute cracks in the road surface and then expands as it freezes, which causes damage to the road surface.

“Leeds City Council has invested a significant amount of money in highway maintenance in recent years, which has helped to improve the overall condition of the highway network in the city and helped to limit the damage caused by the most recent severe winters.”

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