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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Driver wins £1.1million payout after hitting pothole amid warning over UK roads


One driver has won more than £1million in compensation after they hit a pothole.
After a four-year legal battle, the motorist has won a massive £1,188,565.25 for a “pothole-caused personal injury”.

It might be the largest payout of its kind, and campaigners have warned that it reflects the dire state of the UK’s roads as the RAC cautioned this winter created the "perfect recipe" for more pothole to pepper the country's roads.


The payout was made by the Labour-run Welsh Government which is responsible for maintaining larger trunk roads nationwide across Wales.


The unnamed driver was injured in the pothole accident in 2018-19 and the compensation was finally paid out four years later.


A Freedom of Information request revealed the massive compensation, and also showed dozens of people have put in such claims in Wales over the last five years.


The figures show the Welsh Government settled 11 claims for pothole-related vehicle damage over the past five years and a further two claims to personal injuries.


Over that time, the typical highest payout for vehicle damage claims was £1,077.


Mark Morrell, the UK's leading pothole campaigner, is urging the public to report potholes in their neighbourhood.


According to Mr Morrell, a retired operations manager who was christened Mr Pothole after launching his campaign 10 years ago, poorly maintained roads are costing the country up to £10 billion a year.


“Filling in potholes is a waste of taxpayers’ money. Until there is a properly funded roads resurfacing programme put in place things will get worse.”


This comes as the RAC warned that this winter's weather has created “the perfect recipe for potholes to start peppering the roads”.


RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The wet weather we’ve had both before and after the coldest start to winter in 12 years in December is the perfect recipe for potholes to start peppering the roads.


“We fear that by the spring, drivers will be plagued by a plethora of potholes across the country’s roads which makes journeys uncomfortable and frustrating or, worse still, could lead to very expensive garage repair bills.


“It’s also important to remember that potholes are so much more than just an annoyance, they are a true road safety danger, especially for those on two wheels as they represent a huge risk to their personal safety.


“There are too many occasions where potholes have been poorly patched up by cash-strapped councils which then return all too quickly. It’s frankly absurd that, as a country, we seem unable to get on top of such an age-old problem when roads play such an important role in people’s everyday lives.”


Consumer champion Helen Dewdney, known as the Complaining Cow, said: "You can also make a Freedom of Information request, asking for all complaints about the specific pothole. If they have had complaints but not acted, this will really help your case. Local authorities will usually fight pothole claims."


Meanwhile, Dan Munford has taken to using toy construction equipment to highlight the "frankly dangerous" potholes in Wales.


He said he wanted to shock the council in Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Mid Wales, into action and set up a miniature road block alongside a mini excavator, roller, and flat bed truck on the damaged roads near his house - because they can't get the full-size ones to fill their potholes.

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