This is how much money is still needed to fix Coventry’s potholes
Coventry has only received a third of the money from government needed to repair the city’s potholes.
The city council has been handed £1.2million to patch up potholes as new figures show dodgy roads have cost the authority thousands of pounds in insurance claims.
The Department for Transport revealed the government funding last week, as part of a wider £420m budget pledge to tackle potholes around the country.
But Cllr Jayne Innes said although the council is grateful for the money, it is a third of what they need if we have another harsh winter.
‘Scratching the surface’
She said: “We are very grateful for the £1.2m from the government, but in context, in 2017/18 we spent £3.1m on potholes.
“It is about a third of what we would expect to spend.
“We had to put more resources out too last year due to the harsh winter.
“If we have another winter like last year, we are going to need to get more money from somewhere.
“Last winter we had 66 weeks worth of repair.
“Every little helps but we are looking at what we are spending, and if it is like 2017/18, we are scratching the surface.
“We have 882km of road network within the Coventry area.
“It is a priority to keep our roads safe.”
Insurance claims from potholes
New figures show the city council has had to pay £21,264 from insurance claims as a result of pothole damage over the past five years.
The figures, obtained by a Freedom of Information request from the Local Democracy Reporting Service, found £21,264 was paid to 87 claimants, with an average payout of £240.
The highest payout to an individual was £999, made in 2016/17.
Councillor Jayne Innes said: “In terms of the £21,000, of course I do not want us to spend a single penny on anything that takes away from it being spent elsewhere.
“We work hard to make sure these things are not happening.
“It is regrettable but at the same time it is a low number I would imagine compared to neighbouring authorities like Nottingham and Leicester.”
Almost half of the money Coventry council paid out came in 2013/14, with £10,257 given across 48 claims.
Compensation payouts have steadily decreased year-on-year since then.
In 2014/15 £3,822 was given to 10 claimants, £3,126 was given to 15 claimants in 2015/16, £2,321 to six claimants in 2016/17, and £1,738 has been given to eight people this year.
A total of 30 per cent of the 283 claims over the last five years (87) were successful.
Keeping motorists safe
Roads Minister Jesse Noman said: “Potholes are a huge problem for all road users, and too often we see issues occurring at the same place time after time.
“That is why the Government is investing more in improving our roads than at any time before – £15 billion between 2015 and 2020 and a further £28.8 billion to 2025. Plus an immediate extra £420million for potholes and local road maintenance just this year.
“The West Midlands will be getting an extra £43million this winter to keep its roads in good condition to keep drivers and cyclists safe.”