Compensation costing councils millions

The standard of road maintenance in some areas leaves lots to be desired.

IT’S road rage with a difference as angry drivers are getting stuck in to councils across the UK.
Every day, local authorities are having to cough up cash to motorists. The average claim for damage to vehicles caused by potholes is £200 and 22,000 claims were processed last year, money councils can ill afford to pay out.
It has been claimed that poor maintenance of roads is costing drivers around six times more than councils would need to fork out to patch highways.
And claiming on insurance is usually too expensive for drivers. Simon Douglas, of AA Insurance, explained: “Drivers are unwilling to claim as they risk losing their no-claims bonus. The cost of repair may be less than the rise in premium.”
As if that wasn’t enough, the Government has instructed the Highways Agency to ignore potholes on motorways if they are smaller than a soup bowl from 2015 onwards. Already feeling that they are being fleeced by fuel duty and road tax, motorists are angry.
Hitting even a small pothole at speed can result in cracked driveshafts, broken shock absorbers and snapped coil springs.
Mail order outlet Carparts-Direct.co.uk said: “Many customers ask for a detailed invoice to claim from their authority. “Our steering racks and driveshafts are remanufactured items so the old part is returned to us when the job is done. Some are damaged so badly they are useless. In 25 years I have never known this level of destruction. It is unsafe.”
Governments know that voters won’t tolerate third-world schools and hospitals. With the amount of money they are expected to pay out for the privilege of driving, third-world roads could prove even more unpopular.

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