Devon

Devon drivers making 'horrendous' number of pothole claims

Pothole
Image caption One of the largest potholes was a six-foot hole which appeared on an unnamed road between Crediton and Newbuildings

A "horrendous" number of drivers are making claims for pothole damage to their cars, Devon County Council's opposition group has said.

The Liberal Democrats said 1,100 claims had been put in over the winter, up from around 670 a year ago.

A spokesman said the increase in claims showed the county's road infrastructure was "appalling".

In response, the council said the number of gangs fixing potholes had been increased "three fold".

It said in situations where roads were still saturated from the winter storms, it was "sometimes difficult to make lasting repairs".

Councillor Gordon Hook, Lib-Dem spokesman on the environment, said: "It reflects the appalling state of our infrastructure.

'Wettest on record'

"It's very disappointing. To have this huge increase is an horrendous figure."

The council admitted the number of potholes had "increased significantly over the winter, one of the wettest on record."

It revealed pothole numbers "have risen from about 2,000-a-month to about 7,900-a-month".

Councillor Stuart Hughes, the cabinet member for highway management, said: "There is no doubt that pothole numbers and claims have increased significantly over the winter, one of the wettest on record.

"The recent announcement of extra funding from the government's severe weather recovery fund is evidence of the widespread impact of the winter weather."

The £7m announced by Government last week for Devon "enables us to make more progress, and a prioritised programme of road surface repair schemes is now being finalised, and the resources are being found to push on and do the work," Mr Hughes added.

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