potholes plague Marsh Lane in Nantwich

Council chiefs claim they are winning the battle against potholes – despite criticism over the amount of compensation paid to drivers.

Cheshire East Council says reports or complaints about potholes have fallen to 2,849 in 2014/15 – down from 17,241 in 2012/13.

And it adds the number of compensation claims against the council has dropped to 244 so far this year, from 1,252 in 2012/13.

Compensation totalling £558,245 was paid out to claimants in 2012/13. But of claims lodged in 2014/15, only £2,308 has been paid out so far.

However, critics say the council is still not doing enough to tackle the problem and make information easy to find.

Cllr Brian Silvester, of Willaston and Rope ward, claims Cheshire East has had to pay out an average of £1,358 a week to motorists over the last two years for cars damaged by potholes.

“In total, over the last two years, Cheshire East has paid out £141,233 to 323 drivers, an average of £437 per claim. A further 1,136 drivers drivers were unsuccessful with their claims,” he added.

“But it is not just the cost of compensation for damage to cars, it is also the accidents and injuries and sometimes deaths that occur because of the potholes.

“Rather than pay out hundreds of thousands in compensation it would be far better if that money was spent on repairing potholes so that compensation could not be claimed.”

Cllr David Topping, Cheshire East head of EnvironmentBut Cllr David Topping, Cheshire East’s Cabinet member for service commissioning, believes they are now up to date on the most dangerous potholes, greater than 50mm.

“That doesn’t mean there are not potholes on the network but we don’t have backlogs from former years,” he added.

“We are completely open about these figures and don’t hide anything from the public. The safety of our residents and visitors is paramount.

“We are continuing to monitor our roads constantly through an inspection regime which identifies current and future problems. We also value comments and reports from the public.”

Cold weather of the last two weeks, which has seen more than 1,000 tonnes of salt used, is likely to cause a rise in road defects.

In December, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced Cheshire East would receive £10.5m for highways improvements and potholes in the financial year 2015/16.

Odd Rode Ward Cllr Andy Barratt said: “More needs to be done to advertise and teach people that they too can report highway faults, potholes, lighting.

“And once a member of public reports a fault, to either fix it asap or explain to the member of public why its not been sorted, rather than ignoring their report.

“A lot of claims could be negated if the regular statutory checks were kept up to date.”

2 Comments

  1. This is very positive news for the Cheshire district. We have noticed a difference. Please please East Cheshire Council, please support the long suffering residence on Park View who back on to Heathside in Nantwich. Some of the pot holes are so big, that they are across half of the road. Residents and users HEATHSIDE are concerned for their safety and well being. The holes are very wide and very deep. PLEASE HELP !!

  2. Topping is obviously basing his comments on a paper exercise. I suggest he gets out onto the roads where he will find plenty of surface damage and potholes awaiting repair. There is never a victory on this because roads are deteriorating all the time. It’s never-ending. There’s certainly no room for the sort of complacency he’s showing here.

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