A pothole campaigner says successful payouts of £10,000 caused by craters on Northamptonshire roads are ‘the tip of the iceberg’.
Just 33 out of 816 claims made against Northamptonshire County Council between March 26, 2017 and March 2018 were paid out.
Now, under Freedom of Information laws, this newspaper can reveal which potholes those claims related to and how much was paid out.
The highest payout of the £10,501.27 in total was a whopping £1,064.80 for damage caused by Charwelton Road in the west of the county.
Other payouts included a £719.75 sum for a pothole on the A6 near Rushden and £861 worth of damage caused by a crater in Courteenhall Road in the south of the county.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “This has been one of the most severe winters in recent years with three major snow events and more than 100 gritting runs carried out.
“Like elsewhere in the country this has had a heavy impact on our roads.
“For a pothole to be considered a safety defect it has to be at least 40mm deep but this is on our busiest roads. For more local roads, our intervention levels would start at a depth of 50mm.
“For the worst carriageway safety defects (Category 1) our response time is 5 working days. In practice most repairs are completed sooner than this in around 2-3 days for Category 1 defects.
“The council has no influence over whether a motorist makes a claim or not. However Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980 provides the county council with a statutory defence against claims where it can establish that reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous to traffic.”
But deputy mayor of Brackley Mark Morrell, AKA Mr Pothole, claims the council’s use of the defence is unlawful as the roads continue to deteriorate.
He said: “I think it’s the tip of the iceberg.
“The county council marks the potholes as needing a repair within four months to meet their defence but over the four months it gets worse and worse.
“I don’t think they can use the Section 58 defence by doing that, I think it’s unlawful.”
The month that saw the most potholes reported to the council was January 2018 with a staggering 2,305 - more than 70 a day.
These figures include potholes reported to the council that were beyond their control, such as on roads controlled by Highways England.
Of the 816 claims made 783 were rejected by the council and Mr Morrell says people almost give up because of the process.
He said: “They’re advising people to report potholes but the system hasn’t been working for days at a time.
“People haven’t got the time or tenacity to take them on.”
The full list of successful payouts:
A6 southbound, just outside Rushden - £719.75
Burcote Road - £368.79
Rotherthorpe Road - £85
Burcote Road, Wood Burcote - £110
Sidegate Lane, Finedon - £93.99
Bozenham Mill Lane, between Bozenham Mill Farm and Grafton Regis - £230.99
Charwelton Lane - £1,06.80
Overthorpe Road - £968
Newton Road, Rushden - £456
Deer Park Road, Moulton Park - £55
Deer Park Road, Moulton Park - £120
Stoke Road - £150
Deer Park Road, Moulton Park - £108
Courteenhall Road - £98.40
A43 between Stanion and Holiday Inn, Corby - £98.40
Orlingbury Road - £273.56
Orlingbury Road - £251.57
Unnamed road at Cornhill between A5 and Bugbrooke - £146
A43 Kettering to Corby - £303.12
Newbottle Road - £293.42
West End Road, Silverstone - £264.45
Rothersthorpe Road from Kislingbury to Rothersthorpe - £402
Cranford to Grafton Underwood road - £60
Cockley Road - £446.88
South Kilworth Road between South Kilworth and Welford - £120
Banbury Lane near Foxley - £238
Cockley Road from Farthinghoe - £144.34
A43 towards Corby - £358
A43 Kettering - £107.95
Stamford Road A43 - £199.26
Stamford Road A43 - £443
Three Bridges Road, Long Buckby - £792