Video: Compensation payments for damage caused by potholes in Suffolk has totalled more than �70,000 in the last five years
SUFFOLK: The shocking amount of damage caused by potholes littering the region’s roads can be revealed today.
The amount of money Suffolk County Council has paid to motorists for damage to their vehicles has seen a SEVEN-FOLD increase in the last five years.
Back in 2006 the council paid out just �2,850 but last year the figure had soared to �20,101 and was as high as �38,288 in 2009.
The number of claims for insurance pay-outs has also risen dramatically from just 18 in 2006 to 378 last year.
The data has been made available following a Freedom of Information request and shows how the growing number of potholes in the county are affecting local people.
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These figures come just days after the government announced that �100 million of extra funding for pothole repairs was being made available.
The cash will be handed out to local councils following a decision-making process expected to last until mid March. It is not known yet how much money will be allocated for Suffolk.
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Guy McGregor, portfolio holder for roads and transport said: “These figures show the impact which severe winter weather conditions have had in recent years. All roads in Suffolk are regularly inspected and any potholes found and in need of repair are dealt with.
“Given the fact that there are 4,200 miles of roads in Suffolk, the number of claims is relatively low. We very much welcome the government’s additional �100m nationwide to help with the impact of the last winter.”
Transport secretary Philip Hammond said: “Millions of motorists and cyclists across the country have their daily drives ruined by potholes. And the awful winter weather we had this year is only going to make that problem worse.
“That is why, despite the tough financial position we are in, we are going to give councils over �100million extra to help carry out much needed repairs to England’s roads.
“We are determined to see the winter damage to our roads fixed as quickly as possible and we will be working with councils to make sure that happens.
“This money should make a real difference to the millions of drivers who are fed up with having to continually battle against dangerous potholes, giving them safer and smoother journeys.”
IPSWICH/FELIXSTOWE: Motorists living in Ipswich and Felixstowe have to had to contend with an increasing amount of potholes on the roads.
Among the worst roads in Ipswich is Beechcroft Road, where residents are claiming after the number of mini-craters in the road reached “unbearable” levels.
As part of our on-going Spot the Pot campaign we’ve highlighted the issue to council chiefs who have pledged to re-surface the road this summer
Tracey Ray, 46, who has lived in Beechcroft Road for more than 20 years, said: “I have never known it to be so bad.
“It’s hard to say how many there are – I’ve lost count. But all the way down the road they’re there – it’s really bumpy and uneven.
“It’s got to the extent where I had a near-miss while riding my bicycle and came close to completely toppling over.
“It’s getting unbearable to be honest.”
Ken Taylor, who has lived in Beechcroft Road for three decades added: “A lot of them have been here since the early part of last year. I haven’t had any damage to my car yet but it could be a matter of time at this rate.”
A spokeswoman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “We are aware of the situation in Beechcroft Road.
“We are hoping to carry out patchwork and surface dressing in the area this summer.”
n What is your view on the state of the county’s roads? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail email@example.com.