Kent County Council & Potholes

04/04/2017 – Hundreds of pothole claims rejected by Kent County Council

Hundreds of pothole compensation claims have been rejected by Kent County Council on the grounds it was planning to repair the roads in the future. Details released to the Kent Messenger under a Freedom of Information request reveal that, since 2015, 568 motorists were refused a payout.

Under the Highways Act authorities can dismiss drivers’ claims if they can demonstrate the defective road is scheduled for repair “within reasonable time”. Kent County Council’s website warns that the “majority of compensation claims are unsuccessful”.  “Our low figures for ‘successful’ claims reflect a low level of liability because of our improved fault reporting and repairs.  “Councils across the country cannot be held liable for a defect they are not aware of, as set out by government legislation.” He added that once reported, the council aimed to repair potholes within a month.  Full story – click here

There appears to be an irony associated with the Council’s conduct; the cost of repairing a pothole is said to be about £40 – source.

However, if a pothole causes damage to your vehicle, to determine whether your claim will be successful you need to approach the council to:

  • Present your claim

Council staff will need to investigate which takes time, costs money.

  • Obtain evidence

A straightforward means by which you can obtain information about the pothole and the Council’s knowledge of same, is by use of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  Help is at hand – by using your request is not only monitored, it places the information in the public domain i.e. for all to locate and see. This also incurs Council time and money (the limit for a request of £450 – 18 hours @ £25 / hour).

“A Stitch in Time May save nine.”*


*Apparently, first recorded in Thomas Fuller’s Gnomologia, Adagies and Proverbs, Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British, 1732