I noted with interest the news that local authorities are having to make substantial payouts on claims for damage to motor vehicles due to the state of the roads, caused by the severe winter weather

This was an issue we forecast would occur earlier this year, and tens of thousands of pounds in compensation are now being paid out to drivers for damage, on top of spending to keep roads clear of snow and ice and the costs of repairing potholes. This comes at a time when councils are under severe budgetary pressure, a situation that is set to get worse as the AA predict that the number of potholes increased by a third because of the severe weather.

Councils must act to ensure that roads are inspected regularly and repairs undertaken. This will undoubtedly require increased investment, but failure to do so will result in escalating claim levels. Citizens can help by having a measure of civic responsibility and reporting any hazardous potholes to their local authority.

Debbie Milne, partner (litigation),HBJ Gateley Wareing