It seems Glasgow is the worst area for pothole damage claims in the whole of the UK, but with the 3678 claims made over three years, just 3% received any compensation for the damage to the car caused by potholes.
Holey Roads in Glasgow
The AA was behind a recent study into potholes across the UK. It approached each council and asked them to report on the number of potholes and damage claims they have received since 2018, and Glasgow was by far the worst for dealing with claims. The 3% of claims that did receive compensation totals 121 of the 3678 claims.
Strangely enough, Glasgow did not have the highest number of potholes for the reporting period. In fact, they were 10th on the list of UK councils. Yet despite that, they received the most claims and paid out on the least. They reported 38,100 potholes in the three years, and during that time, 34,592 what actually repaired. Ninety councils were asked for data across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but only 51 responded.
As a whole, pothole damage claims totalled 43,947 during the three years. For the 51 councils, compensation was only paid out to 30% of claimants, which is 13,187 cases. The rules compensation only gets paid if the pothole has been reported and not fixed within the period defined by the council or if they then decided there was just cause for repairing it later than planned. Reading between the lines, it almost seems like councils have given themselves away out of having to pay. Fife in Scotland did not do much better; they had 57,051 potholes reported which was the fifth highest total; but to their credit, they did manage to repair 55,617.
Frustrating for Drivers
It seems fair to say that the head of road policy at the AA, Jack Cousens speaks for most drivers when he says potholes are a frustration and a blight on roads. Not only do potholes annoy car drivers and cause damage, but they can cause fatal crashes for cyclists and injure people walking. One of the problems seems to be the ongoing dispute whereby local governments and central governments blame each other for not having enough funding in place to maintain the surfaces of our roads.
Driving Safely Around Potholes
Assuming you see the pothole before you hit it, there are some tips for staying safe. These include keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, who may have to take evasive action to avoid the pothole. Doing this gives you the best visibility and chance to see the pothole for yourself. When you see a pothole approaching, slow down and if it is safe to do so, drive around it rather than over it minimising the risk of damage to your car. Finally, be careful when you see a cyclist near a pothole you are approaching, as they need to come away from the curb and risk going out into the road to avoid hitting it themselves.