The pothole millionaire: Motorist injured by road crater is paid more than £1.1M by Labour-run Welsh Government after four-year battle
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A driver has won more than £1.1m compensation after a four-year legal battle for a ‘pothole-caused personal injury,’ it has been revealed.
The massive £1,188,565.25 payout is believed to be one of the biggest ever in Britain as campaigners warn of the dire state of the country’s roads.
It was made by the Labour-run Welsh Government which is responsible for maintaining larger trunk roads nationwide across Wales.
The unnamed driver was injured in the pothole accident in 2018-19 and the compensation was finally paid out four years later.
A Freedom of Information Act request showed dozens of people have put in claims for damaged vehicles or personal injuries over the last five years.
The figures show the Welsh Government settled 11 claims for pothole-related vehicle damage over the past five years and a further two claims to personal injuries.
Furious drivers fed up with pot-holed roads have set up toy repair vehicles to poke fun at officials
Over that time, the typical highest payout for vehicle damage claims was £1,077.
Mark Morrell, the UK’s leading pothole campaigner, is urging the public to report potholes in their neighbourhood.
According to Mr Morrell, a retired operations manager who was christened Mr Pothole after launching his campaign 10 years ago, poorly maintained roads are costing the country up to £10 billion a year.
He said: ‘I am sick to death of hearing from government and authorities saying repairing potholes is a priority then do very little to tackle the issue of our failing roads network. Filling in potholes is a waste of taxpayers’ money. Until there is a properly funded roads resurfacing programme put in place things will get worse.’
The RAC warned that this winter’s weather has created ‘the perfect recipe for potholes to start peppering the roads’.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: ‘The wet weather we’ve had both before and after the coldest start to winter in 12 years in December is the perfect recipe for potholes to start peppering the roads.
‘We fear that by the spring, drivers will be plagued by a plethora of potholes across the country’s roads which makes journeys uncomfortable and frustrating or, worse still, could lead to very expensive garage repair bills.
‘It’s also important to remember that potholes are so much more than just an annoyance, they are a true road safety danger, especially for those on two wheels as they represent a huge risk to their personal safety.
‘There are too many occasions where potholes have been poorly patched up by cash-strapped councils which then return all too quickly. It’s frankly absurd that, as a country, we seem unable to get on top of such an age-old problem when roads play such an important role in people’s everyday lives.’
Dan Munford used toy traffic lights, a ‘road closed’ sign and a crane on the water-filled holes in the road to poke fun at officials
Consumer champion Helen Dewdney, known as the Complaining Cow, said: ‘You can also make a Freedom of Information request, asking for all complaints about the specific pothole. If they have had complaints but not acted, this will really help your case. Local authorities will usually fight pothole claims.’
Furious drivers fed up with pot-holed roads have set up toy repair vehicles to poke fun at officials.
One villager set up a miniature road block alongside a mini excavator, roller, and flat bed truck on the damaged roads near his house – because they can’t get the full-size ones to fill their potholes.
Dan Munford also used toy traffic lights, a ‘road closed’ sign and a crane on the water-filled holes in the road.
Dan said he wanted to highlight the ‘frankly dangerous’ pot-holes in Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Mid Wales, to shock the council into action.
He said: ‘Unfortunately, the main road through our part of the village has never been in a worse condition than it is today.
‘This present, frankly dangerous situation appears to be long term in nature and has lasted a number of years. Any repairs which are carried out are done badly and last a matter of days.
‘So like many other residents we felt that something had to be done to bring it to the urgent attention of the council.’
Other drivers in nearby towns blasted Powys County Council for failing to tackle potholes.
One said a road in Berriew had ‘horrific Potholes on already uneven road that desperately need filling in. Car has been damaged due to how many and how deep they are.’
Another said a nearby B-road had ‘potholes for several months and gradually getting bigger and deeper.’
A Powys County Council spokesperson said road repairs were taking place in line with budgets.
They said: ‘A road inspection was carried out in April. Following this there were some minor maintenance defects identified and programmed for repair when resource allows.’
‘Any further larger resurfacing repairs identified will be put forward for future funding from appropriate budgets.’
MailOnline has contacted Powys County Council and the Welsh Government for comment.
This comes after it emerged pothole-linked breakdowns have surged by nearly a third in a year – with AA crews attending 1,700 incidents a day.
The breakdown service helped more than 52,000 motorists whose vehicles were damaged by potholes in April, up 29 per cent on the same month last year.
Its latest statistics suggest 2023 could prove to be one of the worst years for potholes since 2017, when the AA began recording breakdowns caused by poorly maintained roads.
Data for the first four months of this year suggests potholes are causing more problems in the UK than they were last year – with these incidents already nearly a quarter up on the same period in 2022.
And the breakdown service is urging the public to report any potholes they spot to ensure councils are made aware of them.
Are YOU the pothole millionaire? Email [email protected]
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