Claims for damage caused by potholes in Glasgow have rocketed in the last three years.

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Official council data, seen by the Glasgow Times, shows there were almost 2000 complaints submitted by motorists for damage last year.

Glasgow Times:

Over the last four years, the total has reached more than 5000 and a compensation bill of almost a quarter of a million pounds.

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Only a fraction of the claims were paid out with the council rejecting far more than they accepted.

The council said claims are dependent on the merits of each individual case and a pothole does not automatically mean negligence.

Glasgow Times:

Over the last four years thousands of claims have been submitted to the council for damage to cars, including burst tyres, damaged wheels, suspension and other mechanical issues with hefty bills racked up.

Glasgow Times:

The volume of claims has risen by 77% in three years.

In 2020/21 there were 1040 claims submitted.

Last year 2023/24 there were 1848, which works out a five claims a day.

The 2020/21 number is likely to have been affected by the covid lockdown with fewer journeys made on the roads.

Since then, it has increased year on year to reach 1848 in 2023/24.

Of the 1848 claims last year only 197 have been settled and 372 rejected with 1369 outstanding.

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Previous years show that more claims are rejected than approved.

In 2022/23 the council knocked back 798 and paid out on 395 with 391 outstanding and 9 in court.

In 2021/22 there were 1074 claims and less than 10% were settled with 101 paid out.

The council rejected 798 claims and 168 outstanding.

Glasgow Times:

Compensation claims cost the council more than £22,000 last year.

The 107 claims that were paid out worked out at an average of £213 each.

The year before the council paid out a whopping £163,401 for 395 successful claims.

That was four times higher than the year before where it was just over £40,000.

Over the four years since 2020/21 the compensation bill has hit almost a quarter of a million pounds with £243,488.88 paid out.

The council data also showed the cash spent on repairs

Last year the budget for “parching and resurfacing” increased to £12.2m up from £9.5m the year before.

It is an almost doubling of the cash allocated in 2021 22 when £6.9m was spent.

The revenue pothole repair work budget last year was £881,165.

It is less than in the previous two years, when it was £1.2m and £1.1m.




Labour said the city has a reputation as the country’s ‘pothole capital’.

Saqib Ahmed, spokesperson for Labour Group on transport, said: “People want roads they can travel safely on.

“Over £220,000 in compensation is just ridiculous - my question is this - how many of these potholes could have been fixed properly for that money?

“Not just that, but this is taking officer’s time away from NRS services dealing with these claims.

“Glasgow’s reputation as the Pothole Capital of the UK is a total embarrassment.

“The SNP/Green budget had a revenue investment saying £4.94M it would be for roads - let’s see that spending before we waste more money to compensation and instead make the roads useable for every citizen.”

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said “Potholes can appear suddenly at any time and are caused by environmental factors such as volume of traffic, ice and rain.

“Our responsibility is to ensure we have in place an appropriate system of road safety inspections and repairs that tackles the most dangerous faults as a matter of priority.

“The roads network is inspected on an on-going basis but we urge people to report any road faults to us directly so they can be properly assessed and included in an appropriate repair programme.

“We always seek to undertake first time permanent repairs wherever possible and we have a team of skilled and experienced roads engineers who always seek to maximise all available resources so the city’s roads network can be maintained to the highest possible standard.

“The roads maintenance budget for 2023/24 was doubled to £12m, which allowed us to plan for 175 resurfacing projects across the city.

“All claims are determined on the individual merits of each case and in the context of our road safety inspection and repairs policy, which is based upon national guidance.

“The presence of a pothole does not automatically mean negligence on behalf of a roads authority.”

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