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.