Pothole compensation

13 April 2010, 06:00 | Updated: 13 April 2010, 07:55

Heart's found out more than £25,000 compensation's been paid in the last year to drivers who've suffered pothole damage in Oxfordshire.

Repair teams in the county have been fixing as many as 5,000 potholes a month - many of them have sprung up as a result of the coldest winter in 30 years.

The amount of compensation paid out by Oxfordshire County Council for pothole-related damage in 2009/10 is less than in 2008/09 when more than £27,000 was paid out, but the County Council say the figures haven't taken in recent damage.

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesperson's told Heart: "The payment of compensation represents the end of a claims process, and the amount paid out over a given period of time may not relate directly to damage sustained to vehicles during that time period."

One Oxford mechanic's told us he's seen a massive increase in people coming in with damaged cars as a result of potholes.

Last year, Tony Yates from ATS in Cowley saw two to three customers coming in each week. This year it's more like 10-12 a week. He's told Heart many of his customers are paying for the damage themselves, because they think the demands for proving the damage was caused by a pothole is too high.

The County Council's told us they've put an extra £1.2m aside to deal with the problem and have already repaired thousands of potholes since the new year.
They say: "The County Council's repair teams are working hard to respond as quickly as possible to reports of potholes from across the whole county. However, common sense dictates that we must treat as a priority those potholes which pose the biggest safety threat to motorists."

We want to find Oxfordshire's worst pothole - let us know if there's a bad one near you by e-mailing news.oxford@heart.co.uk - you can also send a picture!