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Compensation claims as a result of damage caused to cars by potholes in Liverpool have increased by 300 per cent in the last four years.
The data has been obtained by the Liverpool Echo under the Freedom of Information Act and shows that in 2009 there were 56 reports of vehicles needing repairs becuase of potholes. The number of pothole injuries to cyclists is also increasing.
However, this figure rose to just below 250 in 2012, demonstrating how the problem is getting worse. This, in part, could be due to successive poor winters experienced in the UK, which have put the roads under extreme pressure.
It also comes at a time when council budgets are being slashed because of the financial climate, meaning there is less funding available.
Councillor Pat Moloney, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on transport on Liverpool City Council, has been critical of the system currently in place, as he thinks it makes it difficult for drivers to get access to the compensation they are entitled to.
Under the current rules, the council has a defence against a claim if it can prove that a road had been inspected within a certain time limit before the incident took place - this can vary in length from one month to a year.
Cabinet member for transport councillor Tim Moore told the paper: "Although there has been an increase in the number of claims in the last few years, the level of claims is extremely small compared to the situation before the current inspection system was in operation."
The local authority finds itself is a tricky situation, as up to £400 million in investment is needed to bring the road infrastructure in Liverpool up to standard. However, if the council continues to give out compensation to motorists, it will not be able to afford to cover the cost of the improvement work.
Cllr Moore added despite the stark situation they are facing, the council is determined to resurface major routes.
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