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Paying the price of potholes

November 14, 2020 3:52 PM
By Andrew Cooley

Potholes can cause life changing injuries to cyclists, while for car drivers whose vehicles are damaged, the repair costs can run into thousands of pounds. Pothole damage is costing motorists more than £1million a month, according to Which, but other estimates are much higher.

"We all know that council funding has been slashed by the Tory government," says Cllr Gill Moseley, "but repairing potholes is a road safety matter not just a cosmetic job - it needs to be done. Gloucestershire County Council is not meeting that need at the moment but, at least in this county, when you report a pothole online you can also upload a picture to show the problem."

Cllr Gill Moseley points out a pothole that urgently needs repair by Gloucestershire County Council

Cllr. Gill Moseley points out a pothole that urgently needs repair by Gloucestershire County Council

You can report the problem on the GCC website here, and you can locate the problem on an interactive map, which also shows existing problems that have been reported. You can upload your picture here as well. Please do report potholes and other road defects - neither you nor anyone else will get compensation for damage if the problem has not been reported.

It's important to give as accurate a location as you can. If you use a smartphone to take the picture you can also use the what3words app to give the precise location at the same time.

There is useful information from the Money Saving Expert website here about making a claim for damage - other sites offer similar advice.

The Consumers' Association 'Which' offers this advice.

"In some cases, claims for damages are awarded BUT beware," says Gill Moseley. "Trying to find the relevant information to make a claim on the county council's website is not easy, so we've found it for you! There is no automatic right to compensation and claims are paid on a strict liability basis."

If you need to make a claim for damage, you can do so by email to highways@gloucestershire.gov.uk. There's information about making a claim here, and you can find a form on which to make the claim here.

When you make a claim you will get a covering letter from the County Council and also one from the contractors, Ringway, like this one.

Finally, make sure your tyres and suspension are checked regularly. According to mechanical breakdown insurer, Warranty Direct, almost a fifth of cars on the road could have potentially dangerous damage caused by potholes of which their drivers are unaware.