Nottinghamshire County Council spent over £4m repairing roads last year

Authorities in the East Midlands received a complaint to fix a pothole every eight minutes
Authorities in the East Midlands received a complaint to fix a pothole every eight minutes

Nottinghamshire County Council received over 8,600 requests to fix potholes last year, and spent over £4m repairing roads new figures reveal.

According to Freedom of Information figures, the number of requests or complaints received by Nottinghamshire County Council asking for damaged road surfaces/potholes to be repaired in 2018/19 was 8621.

READ MORE: ‘Tell us about your potholes’ message from county council

The authority spent a total of £4.036m on repairing roads for the 2018/19 financial year.

The figures, obtained by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) showed that more than £42,000 was paid out in compensation to 180 claimants in Nottinghamshire that had their vehicles damaged last year.

Authorities in the East Midlands received a complaint to fix a pothole every eight minutes.

READ MORE: Council defends workmen who took just seconds to repair a pothole on a Huthwaite street

In the East Midlands, authorities received 60,000 complaints about damaged roads.

In total, just under £119m has been spent fixing damaged roads and holes in the region over 2018/19 – £1.5m more when compared to the previous year.

The figures obtained under the freedom of information act revealed that just 35 per cent of claims for vehicle damage were successful across the East Midlands, with the average pay out per claim equating to £237.

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This is in comparison to Greater London, which saw 42,106 complaints, and the South East, which saw 22,396

The FSB are now calling for more funding for local authorities from central government to support planned regular maintenance programmes, and to help alleviate the pothole problem. they say that unless additional funding is provided, the road maintenance problem is likely to increase over time, meaning more will need to be spent on repairs and damage claims.

The FSB also wants to see a simple system in place for both reporting potholes locally, as well as for submitting claims for damage to vehicles.

READ MORE: £1.6million to help fix Nottinghamshire's potholes

Michael Weedon, FSB policy representative in the East Midlands, said: “Potholes are a major concern for the nation’s small businesses in the East Midlands. Our members in the region rely heavily on the local road network, with their staff, customers and trade deliveries, dependent on fast and efficient road networks.

“Poorly looked-after roads peppered with holes and cracks not only hamper their ability to do business, but lead to damaged vehicles, which are often vital assets to small firms from Daventry to Dronfield often working without large capital reserves.

“These figures show just how widespread the issue is and it’s clear that governments, both national and in the East Midlands, need to sit up and take notice. Measures like more funding for local authorities and improving the coordination between authorities and utility companies, will go some way in helping ease the burden of this ever-growing issue.”

The statistics reveal that the UK combined, the depth of the country’s 700,000 reported potholes over the last year, is around 28km – almost 15 times deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Councillor John Cottee, chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s communities and place committee said: “The current administration inherited a £143 million backlog of road repairs from our predecessors and we recognise that the condition of our highways is a big issue for residents.

"This is why we are investing an extra £24 million in road maintenance and pothole repair up to 2022.

"We really appreciate the help of residents in bringing potholes to our attention and we act quickly on these reports. Last year alone we repaired 115,000 potholes.

“The county’s highways network covers 2,774 miles and I am always honest with our residents and road users that it will take many years and considerable further investment to bring all of our roads back to an ideal standard, but we are making a start in the right direction.

"For example, we are investing a further £1.75m in new pothole-filling technology so we can further improve our capacity to make the right repair at the right time.

“The improving condition of our roads should result in fewer claims against the council, demonstrating the importance of this investment. We receive a number of highways-related claims, and in order to protect the public purse and ensure all claimants are treated fairly, we thoroughly investigate all cases.

“As well as investing in road maintenance and pothole repair, we are also investing in congestion-busting major schemes such as the junction improvements on the A614, and we are exploring all of our options for further such schemes, such as improvements to the A611.

"Our clear aim is to keep traffic moving as freely as possible in order to benefit the local economy and minimise the air pollution that could otherwise be caused by long delays and standing traffic.”

Potholes in numbers in the East Midlands (2018/19):

Total spend on road repair: £118,877,381
Total number of complains about damaged road surfaces/potholes: 60,017
Total number of claims, successful or otherwise, for vehicle damage as a result of potholes or damaged roads: 3,957
Number of successful claims: 1,375
Total amount paid out: £326,354