Surrey County Council paid out more than £446,000 in compensation due to potholes, by some distance the most in the South East.

More than 41,000 potholes were reported in Surrey in 2017/18 making it the worst county in the South East for the problem.

Figures show that £446,812 was paid out in compensation by Surrey County Council (SCC) for pothole damage in the 12 months, dwarfing second place Kent’s total of £26,587.

If added together the total depth of all Surrey’s reported potholes in 2017/18 was a staggering 1,652 metres, or just over a mile.

Car insurance price comparison website Confused.com submitted freedom of information requests to all UK authorities regarding the pothole epidemic.

In the South East 122,534 potholes were reported across the nine counties, the most of any UK region. Surrey’s figure of 41,295 potholes makes up 34% of the total.

A statement released by Confused.com said: “Having this many potholes can be a very costly job for councils as they fork out for repairs, as well as compensation to victims of damage to vehicles caused by road defects.

“In fact, almost a third (32%) of motorists in the South East say they have had their car damaged by a pothole in the past, which cost them £102 to fix, on average.

“And this led to councils in the region forking out £555,567 to compensate motorists for this damage in one year alone (2017/18). This is on top of the £12 million spent repairing road defects in the same year.”

In 2016 33,179 potholes were reported in Surrey with a total depth, if added together, of 1,327 metres. It means the 2017/18 reported pothole figure of 41,295 is an increase of almost 25% from the 2016 total.

Research carried out by Confused.com found that 28% of UK drivers have had an accident or near-miss due to a pothole. Of those who actually had an accident, 17% said it was because they lost control of their car when they hit the pothole, while a further 15% said it caused their tyre to burst which led to an accident.

Additional figures show that SCC spent £7,522,644 on pothole repairs in 2017/18. Again this is by far the highest figure in the South East – Hampshire is second on £2,662,156 and Kent third on £1,025,914. Figures were not made available for Oxfordshire and West Sussex.

A spokesman for SCC said: “We have some of the busiest roads in the country outside of London and as a result they deteriorate quicker than elsewhere.

“As such and because of severe winter weather we’ve had to invest an extra £20 million over two years to improve roads most in need and we’re fixing potholes at a rate of one every two minutes.”

The 2017/18 figures are for potholes reported from April 1 2017 to March 31 2018. The 2016 figures are for January 1 2016 to December 31 2016.

Confused.com has created a guide for motorists looking to claim compensation. To view, click here.

Source: GetSurrey

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