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Council pays more than £1.8m compensation over single pothole claim

Potholes like this (not the one involved in the claim) cost the council thousands in compensation. Credit: ITV West Country

Somerset County Council has paid out more than £1.8million in compensation over a single claim involving a pothole.

The Council handed the "general damages" to a third party following an accident on a road it manages.

The payout was revealed by a Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by the Somerset County Gazette newspaper.

The TaxPayers' Alliance says the payout reveals the level of "waste" and "inefficiency" across councils.

We are lucky to have freedom of information requests to find this information out and force the council to do better.

– James Price, campaign manager, TaxPayers' Alliance

The council says it cannot go into further detail about the claim due to legal reasons.

The FoI request shows an increase in the amount paid out by the council in recent years.

  • 2014-15: £171,425 paid out to 28 claimants
  • 2015-16: £895,716 paid out to 33 claimants
  • 2015-16: more than £2.1m paid out to 31 claimants

Apart from potholes, other common claims include drains and erosion of roads.


Councillor blames Devon's potholes on lack of funding

Credit: ITV News

The man in charge of roads in Devon has told ITV News there's little that he can do to clear the backlog of repairs to hundreds of potholed roads across the county.

Tory councillor Stuart Hughes says he needs an extra £17 million pounds a year from the Government just to keep the roads in their current condition.

Watch Ian Axton question him over the state of the county's roads:

Is this the most potholed road in the West Country?

Drift Lane near Sheldon in Devon Credit: Anne Plumridge

This photograph was sent in by one of our viewers in the hope that, by publishing it, some action might be taken.

This is the lane we have to travel every day from our home, it is like this all the way along this stretch of the lane.

The ditches need clearing so the water can drain away but nothing get done.The holes are so deep that my Mini scrapes the bottom and there are too many to avoid them.

Several residents have complained to Devon Council but to no avail.

– Anne Plumridge

We are contacting Devon County Council about Drift Lane but we want to know if you know any other examples.

This is among the worse condition roads we've seen but perhaps you know different.

Send your pictures and comments to Don't forget to say where the offending route is. You can also post on our Facebook page.

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