UK & World News
Pothole Damage Costs Councils £22m In 2011
Councils paid out more than £22m in compensation last year to drivers whose cars were damaged by potholes.
Consumer group Which? said the north west of England was the worst affected region with £8m handed out in damages.
The Government allocated an extra £200m to local highway authorities after a review in 2011 revealed a "significant increase in the number of potholes".
But Which? found the backlog of repairs at each English local authority is still growing, up from £53.2million in 2009 to £61.3m last year.
Local authorities have estimated that it would cost £12.93 billion to clear the entire road maintenance backlog in the UK.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "Potholes are a menace for all road users. With temperatures plummeting this week and the bitter weather conditions set to continue, the backlog of repairs could grow again.
"Drivers should help themselves and everyone else on the road by pointing out potholes to the local council."
The watchdog said the chance of claims being successful depended on whether the local authority was aware of the pothole in the first place and had not repaired it or if it had not followed road maintenance guidelines.
Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "We are providing councils with more than £3bn between 2011 and 2015 to maintain their roads and pavements and last month announced an extra £215m to help councils get the best out of their road network.
"This is on top of the additional £200m we gave to councils in March 2011 to repair local roads damaged by the severe winter weather in 2010.
"It is ultimately up to local highway authorities to determine how they prioritise their funding, but we want to help them get the best value for money.
"That is why we are funding the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme which helps councils work together to deliver a first class service to their residents, at the same time as saving money."
Potholes can be reported via a council's website. The Directgov website lists which council is responsible for specific roads.