Insurers pay out £2.85m a month in pothole claims

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The Independent Online

Insurers paid out an estimated £2.85m in claims last month to people whose cars were damaged by potholes.

AA Insurance said around 1,900 pothole claims were made by motorists during February after roads were damaged by one of the most severe winters on record.

The group said pothole claims have soared by around 600 per cent during the past three years, as councils struggle to maintain the road network.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said: "Nationally, the damage to cars caused by potholes in February alone cost insurers around £2.85 million - the equivalent of about 1,900 claims.

"But that's just the tip of the iceberg, because it takes serious damage to make it worth an insurance claim.

"Garages and tyre centres are dealing with countless thousands of punctured tyres, damaged tracking or broken springs which don't justify making a claim."

The group is calling on the Government to use the extra money raised from the increase in fuel duty on April 1 to repair the country's potholes, to prevent councils being forced to raise council tax to cover the cost of maintenance.

AA President Edmund King said: "Local roads are in a dreadful, dangerous state and emergency funding is desperately needed to stop the plague of potholes.

"However with the motorist already paying £46 billion per year in various motoring taxes and only a small proportion spent on the roads, it would be highway robbery to demand more money from local people."

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