Hike in council pothole pay outs

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Pothole pay-outs to drivers this year have already exceeded the total paid out for the WHOLE of last year.

Derbyshire County Council has paid almost £5,000 more in compensation for damaged vehicles.

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request show £8,900.72 was paid out in 2011/12 while £13,646.18 has been paid out in 2012/13.

The council is now spending an extra £824,000 to fix the county’s roads as flooding and winter weather has left many riddled with potholes.

An authority spokesman said: “We know decent roads are important to people. That’s why we’re investing this money to hire in extra resources and bring our roads back into a good state-of-repair.”

The money will pay for a specialist ‘jetpatcher’ machine to tour the county, clearing existing holes of debris and water and laying new asphalt.

Drivers wanting to claim compensation, usually for suspension and wheel damage, must fill in a form with the dates and times of when the incident occurred and a precise location.

The council will look at the vehicle’s MOT certificate to ensure the car is roadworthy and its insurance certificate.

A council spokesman added: “Each claim is looked at on its own merits and we take a judgement on each one.

“If we are not sure then, sometimes we can send out an independent vehicle assessor to look at it. This is generally only done for larger claims.”