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The Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget 2018 pledged a £30 billion investment for England’s crumbling and pothole riddled roads.
He vowed to pump cash into the country’s major highways, which have fallen into chronic disrepair after a scorching summer and harsh winter.
The investment unveiled in Budget 2018 represents the biggest investment in the country’s largest roads.
Almost £30 billion will be spent on motorways and major trunk roads while £420 million will be given to local authorities to fix potholes, repair other damaged roads and maintain bridges.
Another £150m will be pumped into improving road junctions and high streets.
Budget 2018 freezes fuel duty for ninth year
And, with a second bit of good news for motorists in Budget 2018, he also confirmed that fuel duty will be frozen for the ninth year in a row – something promised by Theresa May at the Conservative Party conference earlier this year.
According to the consumer magazine Which? motorists spent around £1 million a month in 2017 repairing damage to their cars and motorbikes caused by potholes.
With around two-thirds of motorists encountering between one and five potholes every day, it’s important to know what to do if you think you might need to make a damages claim to a local authority due to pothole damage.
Need help claiming for pothole damage?
Adrian Flux Insurance Services offers advice to those who have encountered potholes and suffered damage. Here’s what to do:
Report the damage
Regardless of whether you intend to make a claim, report the pothole to the local Highway Authority so it can make repairs. Find further information at www.potholes.co.uk and find contact details for your local authority on gov.uk.
Take a photograph
If you are considering a claim, take photographs of the pothole and the surrounding area and note its location, the road name, the road direction and the size and depth of the pothole. Gather contact details for witnesses.
If you need immediate repairs, get a couple of quotes and keep them with invoices and receipts to support your claim.
Before you claim
Ask the council responsible to let you know the dates of safety inspections undertaken on the carriageway and to let you know if any defects were recorded. Ask how inspections are carried out, how the council decides whether a pothole requires attention, details of any outstanding complaints and the time period between the identification of a problem pothole and its repair. Ask for a reply within 20 working days, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. If no reply is received, resend your list of questions and ask for a reply within 10 days. If no reply is received, continue to your claim.
Making a claim
Include a description of how the damage to your vehicle was caused, when and where the accident happened, photographs, your notes and repair quotes/invoices. The council is likely to defend the claim under section 58 of the Highways Act by claiming it has a reasonable system of repair – if after a second attempt the answer is still ‘no’, consider taking the matter to court. If you use a solicitor, you will have to pay them no matter what the outcome of the case.
Out of court settlement
If you are made an offer – consider it. Court proceedings can be time-consuming and costly.