East Lothian pothole compensation claims average £2.31 each

Monday June 12th 2023

Pothole Midlothian View

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

East Lothian Council paid out less than £100 in compensation for pothole damage last year, despite receiving more than 40 claims from drivers.

A Freedom of Information request by the Local Democracy Reporting Service has revealed the total pay out by the council in 2022 is the equivalent of paying just £2.31 per claim.

It revealed that 42 claims were lodged with the local authority by drivers who said their vehicles had been damaged by potholes. No details were provided on how many claims were successful, but the total amount paid out was £97.26.

It also revealed that in 2021 the council received just 12 claims for compensation from drivers relating to potholes – and paid out £169.76.

In the last year a further 45 claims have been lodged, however no details of payments have been made available.

The council said that in December 2021 it appointed an external claims assessor saying: “As a result, some records are not retained in a reportable format.”

The figures are vastly different compared to claims and payouts over a decade from 2008 to 2018.

In 2018 the council received 63 claims from drivers over pothole damage and paid out £3,160 and in the previous year 2017 it paid out £9,932 in compensation over just 38 claims.

In 2020 when Covid saw much of the country locked down only 4 claims were filed with the council and no data on the amount paid out has been made available.

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “We have a rolling programme of roads maintenance and seek to address potholes across our large network of local roads as effectively as possible.

“We take reports of damage to vehicles very seriously. All claims are investigated fully by independent claims handling agents. Compensation will be paid where there is legal liability.”

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