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Local authorities being driven potty with potholes

4 April 2018

You don’t get too far these days without feeling the shuddering clunk of your hard pressed suspension. Our deteriorating road network certainly is a hot topic (I’m betting your own local news outlet has run recent articles like this)… 

"These are the worst potholes in Plymouth right now"

"We reveal the worst potholes around Nottinghamshire - and why they are getting worse"

"Where money should be spent on Coventry's potholes - according to you"

"We asked you which the worst roads in Greater Manchester were – here are your top 10".

The good news is that the Department for Transport is providing £100m to local authorities to carry out much needed repairs and this should provide some much needed respite… until the next storm.

The problem for local authorities is that it is often implied there is an automatic right to claim for the cost of repairs caused by potholes. As such, local authority claims teams are seeing a dramatic rise in motor damage claims following the recent and prolonged adverse weather (as I type this, another deluge batters a nearby window). However, Section 58 Highways Act is applicable and provides a potential defence to these claims for hard pressed local authorities.

A further challenge for Highway Authorities is that the Revised Code of Practice for Highways Management goes live in a few months – and provides an opportunity for highway authorities to re-think their highways maintenance regimes and embrace a risk based approach.

Exciting times ahead.

If your claims team needs help because of rising claims numbers, or your authority needs assistance with designing, testing or implementing the Revised Code, speak to James Fawcett, Matt Harpin, Jonathan Cook or your usual office contact to discuss what we can offer to help you keep the show (rather than the snow!) on the road (…sorry).

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