Borough roads are going to pot

THOUSANDS of pounds have been paid out to drivers whose cars were damaged by potholes on the borough’s weather-ravaged roads.

Town hall chiefs have been forced to pay out almost £8,000 in the last three years to reimburse motorists after their vehicles were hit by damaged roads and holes that should have been filled.

However, despite receiving 141 requests from drivers for compensation, just 22 cases were successful.

Council bosses today said the amount paid out to motorists was low compared to other local authorities and stressed there were rigorous inspections in place to ensure the safety of roads in the borough.

Mark Tilley, Wigan Council’s head of infrastructure, said: “Potholes are identified from various sources, but mainly through regular highway safety inspections. We also thank the public for letting us know about issues as well.

“Those occurring on our busy main roads we aim to have repaired within a two hour response time, the less busy roads have a three day response maximum. “While we aim to keep costs on reactive repairs to a minimum it is accepted that on a highway network of more than 1000km there will always be a need to deal with such occurrences and ensure public safety.”

The council paid out £2,078 in compensation to drivers affected by damaged roads in Wigan in 2010/11, compared with £3,667 in 2009/10 and £2,174 in 2008/09.

The single largest compensation payout was £1,500 to a motorist who drove over an uncovered manhole in Warrington Road, Marus Bridge and £230 was awarded to a vehicle owner who struck an unlit, unmarked island/kerb extension in Derby Street, Atherton, in August 2009.