Potholes compensation claims against Cambs County Council rocket 842 per cent in two years

NEW figures show Cambridgeshire County Council paid out �166,000 in compensation last year for pothole damage – up 842 per cent from just two years earlier.

Mark Kemp, service director for highways and access, said the sums were “significantly up” on last year when the council did have a difficult time.

He added: “People’s awareness of their right to claim compensation if we have not behaved properly has also increased.”

But Mr Kemp is hoping the sums will be reduced this year as more money is put aside for repairs.

Mr Kemp said the Government would give the county council �1 million to help repair potholes and the council itself had found a further �2 million from capital reserves to fund improvements. In the coming year Cambridgeshire expects to spend a total of �10.5 million on medium and long term road maintenance.

“The best way to go forward is to be more programmed about out repairs but given the budget we have and the number of miles we’ve got, we can’t always get round as quickly as possible,” he said.

He said the county council took a “risk approach” looking at where work needed to be done, how long it would take to get repaired, and then plan accordingly.

Most Read

The council was looking at conditions across the county but with thousands of miles of road to look after and only a small team checking them, they continued to rely on the public reporting them.

Mr Kemp said there was a backlog “of decades of funding pressure on highways maintenance, its’ always been a bit of a Cinderella service”.

* The county council operates an on line system of reporting pot holes and other highways problems. The newly operational service can be accessed via the county council website, www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk