Reading Borough Council have spent £20,887 compensating motorists for damage caused by potholes since 2012, figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

Nationally a total of £12 million have been paid out over the last four years, with an average payment per person of £650.

The figures were uncovered by Freedom of Information requests to 500 councils by the Liberal Democrats.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson Ricky Duveen said:

“This is a lose-lose situation for everyone, whether they are motorists, councils or taxpayers.

“People already have to fork out so much to drive a car, the least they should expect is that their vehicle doesn’t get ruined by a bumpy road.

“Thousands of pounds are now being spent on pay-outs that could have been invested instead in fixing our roads.

“This is a symptom of the short-termist approach being taken to infrastructure investment.

“Roads should be fixed quickly so this compensation does not have to be paid out in the first place.”

Liberal Democrat Councillor Meri O’Connell added:

‘When I speak to residents and ask them about issues in their area, potholes are always high on the list.

“Parents are afraid to let their children cycle to school because of the danger they pose and motorcyclists have to learn where to swerve on their routes to work to avoid coming off their bikes.

“Reading residents are also fed up with the uneconomic practice of sending work teams to repair a pothole whilst ignoring similar potholes adjacent to it. This is an issue for everyone who uses Reading’s roads and pays Council Tax.’