Join in with National Pothole Day 2017!

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It's National Pothole Day 2017 on January 16th!

Potholes are the scourge of motorists, bikers and cyclists.  At the very least they can cause damage to vehicles, and tragically they have caused serious accidents and even deaths to bikers and cyclists. 

Unfortunately the pothole problem is escalating.  Our roads are deteriorating, and potholes are wreaking more and more damage on our cars as drivers and insurance companies count the costs.  The RAC said that it was called out to a quarter more pothole-related incidents in 2015 than in 20141.

StreetRepairs.co.uk, the fastest growing street fault reporting system on the net2 has organised the third National Pothole Day, which promises to be the biggest yet.  CareandCompare.com is one of the sponsors as we believe the pothole issue needs to gain more prominence at both local authority and government levels.

 With very little money being spent on UK roads over the past few years it is of no surprise that thousands of claims for pothole damage are lodged each year.  But where should they be sent? Here's some FAQs to help you should you fall foul of pothole damage.

 Can I claim from my insurance company?

Yes, but only if you have comprehensive cover.  However, it’s worth considering the cost of the damage as well as your excess payments and if the claim will affect your No Claims Bonus.  It may not prove worthwhile in the long run. 

Can I claim from the council ?

More and more drivers are seeking compensation for damage to their suspension and wheels from potholes directly from councils. If you’ve hit a pothole, and decide to make a claim, you’ll need a watertight claim, including photographs, and damage estimates.  The Telegraph offers good advice on how to go about making a claim to the councils3.

How many people make claims to the councils?

In 2014/15, the 200 local highways authorities in England, Scotland and Wales which responded to the RAC’s Freedom of Information request, dealt with 28,971 claims.  That’s the equivalent of about one claim lodged every 18 minutes over the 12 months, according to the RAC.

Am I guaranteed compensation?

Unfortunately no. In 2014/15, the RAC says councils turned down the majority of claims and agreed to pay out in just 25% of cases. But this average hides huge differences between councils’ responses - whilst Bury paid out in 88% of cases and Plymouth 86%, 21 councils paid zero pounds.  The average settlement amount for a successful claim rose to £294 from £286 compared to the previous year.

 What’s the government doing about the situation?

The Government plans to create a permanent pothole fund – with £250 million to spend on fixing the country’s roads over the next five years. This is in addition to almost £5billion for general roads maintenance.

Is it going to be enough?

Councillor Peter Box, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils, said4: "Councils fixed more potholes than ever before last year - one every 15 seconds - and keeping roads safe is one of the most important jobs we do.

"However, a backlog of road repairs of about £12 billion would already take councils more than a decade to clear."

Support for National Pothole Day continues to grow and spread.  Increasing numbers of high-profile companies and organisations are getting involved with StreetRepairs.co.uk to encourage the public to use the excellent fault reporting system on offer.

Notably, Halfords Autocentres are sponsoring National Pothole Day and have teamed up with StreetRepairs.com to offer free safety checks for motorists who have hit a pothole. Book here http://www.halfordsautocentres.com/offers/street-repairs

Instarmac UK, who produce the Ultracrete highway maintenance materials, including an approved pothole repair and reinstatement system have also sponsored this year's National Pothole Day.

Britain's biggest Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is supporting National Pothole Day because of the risks to riders from potholes.

The RAC works with StreetRepairs.co.uk on the RAC Report Pothole app which makes the process of taking action to fix a pothole or other road defect straightforward and effective.

You can show your support  - it will take only a minute - by joining the National Pothole Day 2017 Thunderclap

 

References

RAC Press Centre, January 15th 2016.   http://www.rac.co.uk/press-centre#/pressreleases/rac-sees-24-rise-in-vehicles-damaged-by-potholes-1333426

2  Residents can submit any problem, to any local council anywhere, anytime. Smartphone technology has allowed residents to report problems in real time. You can attach photographs and give a detailed description whilst out and about.

3   The Telegraph, 9th March 2016:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/advice/how-to-claim-for-pothole-damage/

4  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35322313