More than £1.6million in pothole insurance claims have been made across Hertfordshire since 2014.

Hertfordshire County Council figures have revealed the number of personal injury and property damage claims made in each of the last four financial years – April to April - and how much it has paid out.

Someone who sustains an injury, for example on a bike due to the road surface, may be entitled to claim as are drivers whose tyres or suspension is damaged.

Since 2014/2015, around £1.3m has been awarded to personal injury claimants.

But, the number of claims made have been decreasing over the years: £700,000 was paid out in 2014/15 but in 2016/17, the figure was £200,000.

During this financial year, (April 1, 2017 – February 12 2018) 202 personal injury claims have been made so far.

However property damage claims have risen. In 2014/15, 1,011 cases were settled compared to 1,388 over the last financial year.

Around 300,000 has been paid out due to property damage (to a vehicle) on the roads since April 2014.

The figures were obtained by Liberal Democrat county council leader Stephen Giles-Medhurst.

Watford Observer:

He said: "There have been over 1,255 personal injury claims and that is a staggering amount. Whilst the figures maybe
reducing, any one personal injury of a resident who trips over a broken pavement or whilst crossing the road trips on a hole, is one too many.

The numbers also show the reserves the council has put aside each year.

In 2016/17 £886,177 was outstanding in their budget with regards to personal injury claims while property damage reserves totalled £11,668.

Ralph Sangster, cabinet member for highways at Hertfordshire County Council said: “The actual level of claims which are finally steeled is complex. It is therefore difficult to estimate the final costs.

“There has been a downward trend over recent years which reflects the improved condition of our road network.

“According to the latest national survey only 3-6 per cent of our A, B & C roads require improvement. The announcement of our £37 million investment over the next 5 years in our local and rural roads should see the number requiring improvement halved to 8 per cent. This should have a dramatic impact on the number of future insurance claims.”

And according to the county council, more than 3,500 potholes were reported in January 2018, compared to around 1,800 reports in January 2017.

This shows almost a 50 per cent rise in the number of potholes, which the council suggests is due to fluctuations in road temperature and prolonged cold and wet weather.