£21m bill to fix Berkshire’s pothole-ridden roads
It cost Berkshire’s councils in excess of £21 million to fix the county’s roads last year, after they received more than 7,600 complaints.
Pothole and road repairs cost West Berkshire Council more than £8.4 million, the highest amount of any local authority in the county in 2018/19, according to figures from a Freedom of Information request.
While West Berkshire forked out the most on filling potholes it was Wokingham Borough Council which received the most complaints, 2,399, about damaged roads.
Despite the huge number of complaints it spent the second lowest amount, £1,866,264, on repairs.
Reading Borough Council spent the least on repairs, a total of £1,325,000 fixing 3,600 potholes.
And it received 896 complaints due to the state of its roads.
Slough Borough Council received the fewest complaints, just 381 but spent £3,254,000 on repairs, more than its neighbours in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.
Which council paid out the most to drivers in compensation?
West Berkshire Council forked out most out in compensation for claims for damage caused to vehicles by potholes, spending £5,319.63 on 17 successful claims out of a table-topping 154 attempts.
Reading was the only council not to make any pay outs on compensation claims, despite receiving 49 claims.
The number of successful compensation claims
|Council||Total claims||Successful claims||Total amount paid out|
|Windsor and Maidenhead||48||1||£465|
A Reading council spokesman said: “All public highways within the borough are regularly inspected and any defects which meet set criteria are repaired within certain time limits.
“For a compensation claim to be successful, it would have to be proved that the council acted negligently at the time of the incident.
“The council has a robust inspection, investigation and repair procedure which is reflected in the number of compensation claims paid to date.”
The figures were revealed through a series of Freedom of Information requests by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The FSB is calling for several measures to help improve road infrastructure across the country.
What they want:
- More funding for local authorities
- Better coordination between utility companies and local authorities
- A simple UK-wide system for reporting potholes
- Local authorities to use innovative technology to monitor road condition
Reading Borough Council recently won £4.75 million in Department for Transport funding to invest in a two-year technological trial to help futureproof roads and transport.
The project – Thames Valley Berkshire Live Labs – will span all Berkshire authorities and aims to tackle issues such as congestion, air quality, road surface quality and potholes, energy consumption and carbon emissions.