Leeds one of the worst areas in Yorkshire for potholes and this is how much the council paid to drivers

Leeds council received over 8,000 reports of potholes in 2017-18, according to data.

Wednesday, 27th February 2019, 11:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th February 2019, 12:02 pm
Leeds is the third worst place for reports of potholes in Yorkshire with over 8,000 claims made to the council in one year.

Of the 70,609 potholes reported to local councils in 2017-18, just over 11 per cent of them were in Leeds.

New Freedom of information data obtained by Confused.com found that Leeds council received 8,109 reports of potholes, reaching a combined total depth of 324m - deep enough to fit the Eiffel Tower inside.

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Leeds is the third worst place for reports of potholes in Yorkshire with over 8,000 claims made to the council in one year.

Figures also revealed that in the same year the council spend £446,806 on pothole repairs and £18,506 on compensation to drivers.

Neighbouring Kirklees topped the region for pothole problems, with almost 23,000 potholes reported in one year, stretching to 908m deep.

As the UK recovers from a burst of ice and snow earlier this year, even more potholes may start to appear on the roads in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Potholes are caused when water enters the road surface through cracks caused by traffic.

When that water freezes it expands leaving behind a hole when conditions warm up and the ice melts away.

According to the data, February is the most prolific month for pothole damage to cars as 15 per cent of incidents occurred during this time of year.

Most of the damage reported was to the vehicle’s tyres (53 per cent), while more than a quarter said hitting the pothole caused damaged to their suspension, which can be quite costly to fix.

Only one in five UK drivers tried to claim compensation for the damage they received from hitting a pothole from their local council and are most likely paying for the damage themselves, or not repairing it at all.

To clear up this confusion, Confused.com created a guide for motorists to take them through the process and when they are able to make a legitimate claim.

If the council feels it has failed in its duty to maintain the road, they may be willing to cover the cost of repairing the damage, which in turn may save motorists potentially hundreds of pounds.

In the last Autumn Budget, an additional £420m was given to councils in England to tackle potholes, but only two thirds (66%) of motorists think this is a good use of public money.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says: “Re-claiming the costs for pothole damage can be confusing for drivers. Many don’t know if it’s best to claim from your insurer, or from the council. To help clear this confusion, drivers looking to claim for pothole damage can find all of the information they need to start the process in our guide.

“The number of potholes reported in the UK has increased by 2% in the last year, and it’s a battle councils continue to fight. If motorists come across a pothole they should report it to their local authority before it gets any worse.”

Confused.com's advice on how to claim for pothole damage:

Aside from motorways and A roads, which are maintained by Highways England, all other roads in the region are managed by local councils.

1. Gather evidence

Without risking your safety, gather as much evidence about the pothole and the damage as possible including measuring the depth and width and take a photo next to something like a shoe for an easy frame of reference for it's size.

Also take care to note the time and date of the incident, details of witnesses if there were any and the exact location.

Never take photos or measure a pothole on the motorway as this is illegal.

2. Report the pothole

Some councils use apps such as FixMyStreet and others ask that you report the issue directly with them.

It is best to check with the council beforehand.

3. Repair your car

Get several quotes for the repair and keep a record of them as well as any receipts you get for the repairs that you will need to help support your claim.

4. Make your case

Get in touch with the same local authority that you reported the pothole to, including the following details:

-A detailed description of the incident.

-The location, date and time.

-Witness details if you have them.

-Photographs of the scene and the damage.

-Receipts of all repair work.

The council will then consider your claim, only offering compensation if the local authority failed in its duty to maintain the road, in line with Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980.