Thirty-one claims for a single pothole in Wigan - in one day

Winstanley Road in Wigan
Winstanley Road in Wigan

The number of motorists claiming compensation from Wigan Council for damaged cars rocketed last year after dozens of people demanded payouts for the same pothole on the same day.

Claims to the town hall more than quadrupled in a two-year period going from nine successful claims in 2015 to 44 in 2017.

In response to a Freedom of Information Request submitted to the authority, Wigan Council revealed that the figure is the highest in at least seven years - with 193 claims made in 2011 but only 27 paid out.

The mammoth pothole which caused the spike in claims was located on Winstanley Road, near the college.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure said: “The number of claims increased in the financial year of 2017 due to a pothole incident which resulted in 31 claims for vehicle damage from the same defect, on the same day.

“Due to the weather conditions in 2017 we were also faced with more vehicle damage claims resulting from potholes, and this has been the case in a lot of local authorities.

“Claims for vehicle damage normally result in small amounts for each claim, for example, a new tyre at £45, and only a few ever result in personal injury sustained from hitting a pothole.”

Surprisingly, despite the rising number of successful compensation claims, there has been a substantial drop in the amount of money paid out.

In 2011 more than £200,000 was given in compensation claims, with the highest claim coming in at £50,000.

However, last year, only £18,000 was paid out with the top claim at £7,184.

It is not the first time the council has come under fire from furious motorists using Winstanley Road

In March this year more than 20 reports were made after two huge potholes near Winstanley College and the Bag and Bean cafe damaged numerous cars on one evening.

Council engineers were forced to carry out emergency repairs after dozens of motorists complained about damage to their vehicle.

One motorist said: “It’s been there for weeks and has been white lined for repair but it wasn’t clearly visible with the road being wet after it rained.”