The most dangerous and expensive pothole locations in Bristol
Bristol City Council and Highways England are responsible for the roads
Motorists have received nearly £18,000 in insurance payouts in the last three years because of dangerous potholes on Bristol roads.
Of the 444 claims made against the city council since January 2016, 34 resulted in a win for the claimant, each one paying out an average of £521.
The number of successful claims paid in 2018 was 14, one fewer than in 2017.
However, the total number of claims for pothole-related damager, including unsuccessful ones, rose sharply, from 117 to 158.
That’s still lower than 2016, when the council received 172 different claims and a total of £9,910 was paid out.
The worst road for painful potholes was Cabot Way, Cumberland Basin – responsible for £6,401.45 worth of damage, and 21 different claims.
That was followed by potholes on Inns Court Avenue/Creswicke Road, which caused payouts totalling £2,102.78, and two different claims.
Kings Weston Road came in third, (£1,662.00, six claims), a pothole on Mina Road near the junction with Watercress Road was fourth (£978.00, one claim) and Maggs Lane was fifth (£782.54, three claims).
To successfully claim compensation, claimants need to prove that the council has neglected or breached its legal duty to maintain the highways.
Bristol City Council is responsible for smaller roads only, which is what these claims relate to, with Highways England overseeing the nation’s motorways and major A-roads.
A council spokesman said: “We repair around 5,000 potholes every year within the city’s network, which covers over 1,000km of carriageway and nearly 2,000km of footway.
“The ongoing upkeep of our highways doesn’t stop and we are continuing with preventative work such as surface dressing and repairing defects before they cause potholes.
“Anyone who spots a pothole can report it online at https://www.bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel/damaged-road-footpath or by calling 0117 922 2100.”
He added that compensation from successful claims against the council came mainly from its insurance policy, although where a claim related to a failed highway repair, the relevant contractor may be liable.
In November, a Freedom of Information request made to Highways England revealed that the number of successful pothole claims against it more than doubled between 2016/17 and 2017/18.
The figure rose from 212 to 528, with the agency blaming the cold weather brought on by ‘The Beast from The East’.
A spokesperson for the AA said: “Pothole insurance claims peaked earlier in 2018, but have been falling for the last half of this year, so it appears councils have been getting the problem under control.”