Average drivers claim is £841, but cyclists average around £11,000 in payouts.
The average UK highway authority spends more than £55,000 a year dealing with compensation claims caused by potholes, according to new data.
Motorists and cyclists are entitled to compensation from councils if they or their vehicles suffer damage as a result and the pothole was caused by the council’s failure to fix the roads within a reasonable time frame.
A Freedom of Information request by cyclists’ charity Cycling UK showed that 156 of the UK’s highways authorities spent an average of £55,541 a year each on compensation and legal costs relating to potholes between 2013 and 2017.
However, a further 56 authorities failed to respond to the request. Assuming these authorities are also spending an average of about £55,000 a year, this could bring the UK’s total annual cost to more than £11.5 million.
Over the five-year period in question, Cycling UK found that almost 31,000 drivers were paid compensation, as well as 670 cyclists. However, although the average motorist received £841.26 per claim, the average cyclist’s claim came to a whopping £10,963.
Sam Jones, Cycling UK’s senior campaigns officer said: ‘Cycling UK’s research reveals only a glimpse of pothole Britain’s human cost. It’s clear more people are being killed and seriously injured while out cycling each year due to years of persistent under investment in our rotting local road networks.
‘The government should concentrate on fixing the roads we have first before building new ones. Councils need provide enough funding to adopt long-term plans for roads maintenance, rather than pursuing a policy of patching up streets only as they become dangerous.’
The news comes as the government pledged £100 million to fix the UK’s ‘pothole plague’ after recent severe weather – a move described as ‘welcome, but still a drop in the ocean’ by the RAC.