POTHOLE compensation claims to Warwickshire County Council (WCC) were among the highest in the country.
The council paid out nearly £135,000 to drivers whose vehicles had been damaged on local roads. A total of 531 claimed compensation, but not all received a payout.
Data by website Lease Car found the county council was the sixth highest for compensation payouts after FOIs were sent to 70 authorities in the UK. The most claims were received by Surrey County Council which paid around £325,000.
Bottom place on the list went jointly to Islington and Sutton Borough Councils, which made no payouts despite having 61 claims.
Warwickshire’s high ranking comes just weeks after the authority was named the UK’s joint top performing county council for highway maintenance in a national highways and transport survey.
The included how it dealt with potholes.
It shared the top spot with Norfolk in The National Highways and Transport (NHT) Satisfaction Survey, which is carried out annually by Ipsos Mori and saw nearly 100,000 people from across the country take part.
Warwickshire came out top for public satisfaction for highway maintenance, dealing with potholes and undertaking cold weather gritting.
A WCC spokeswoman said: “Warwickshire County Council makes a significant investment each year in maintaining the quality of our roads in an effort to prevent potholes from forming and operates a highway maintenance programme that includes a robust highway inspection and repair regime.
“We were recently named as one of the best local authorities for pothole repairs by the National Highways and Transport customer satisfaction survey.”
But Green Party county councillor Jonathan Chilvers says while repairs are usually carried out quickly, they are often not fit for purpose.
He told the Observer:“I frequently report potholes in south Leamington, particularly as they’re dangerous for cyclists and damage vehicles.
“Often the council are good at patching them up quite quickly, but they don’t re-tarmac a wide enough area so they disintegrate again.
“Maybe the words of Henry Longfellow are helpful here – ‘It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong.’”