Drives me potty! Leeds pothole action plan to rid city of the motorists' menace

Thousands of potholes in Leeds could be filled in permanently - or stopped from forming completely- as part of a new £1m road repair campaign.

Wednesday, 9th August 2017, 6:48 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:20 pm
PIC: Ben Birchall / PA Wire

The city has previously landed in a pothole league of shame - with one crumbling street being named the worst in the country.

Council bosses say they have already put an action plan in place to deal with pothole hotspots in the city.

And it is hoped the new £711,000 cash injection will also help deal with areas that have “suffered repeated pothole formation” or are considered at high risk of falling prey to the perennial motorists’ menace.

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The money is the city’s allocation from a £250m Government Pothole Action Fund announced in the Autumn Statement, and part of a wider £1m road repair project being actioned by the council.

A report just approved by Leeds City Council highways bosses says the campaign is “targeted at improving local roads and delivering better journeys”. It says the new cash boost could repair 13,415 individual potholes, although emphasis will also be put on preventative work. The report says: “It is intended that this additional funding will be used to deal with those locations that have the potential to develop into potholes or that have suffered repeated pothole formation and require localised repair.”

As part of the work in Leeds, £300,000 will be spent on repairs on the most congested main routes, where the risks of vehicle damage are highest.

The remaining £411,000 will be spent on residential roads at an average ”patching work” cost of £7,000 per street.

Across the country, the Department for Transport has calculated that the £250m fund will repair a million potholes every year.

The YEP reported previously that drivers had filed over 1,000 compensation claims against Leeds City Council in a two-year period for damage caused to their cars by potholes.

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. The numbers were revealed after Freedom of Information requests from the RAC Foundation.

Across the country, councils had dealt with a total of 48,664 compensation claims in 2013/14 - an increase on the 2012/13 figure of 46,139 claims.

The total value of successful claims was £3.2m, with the average payout for a successful claim being £286.