New figures have been released this week which show just how much has been paid out in pothole claims across the region.
The figures from the RAC Foundation have shown a low number of claims and payouts for potholes across Sunderland, County Durham, South Tyneside and Hartlepool, despite the national picture showing a pothole compensation claim is made every seventeen minutes.
The data, which was collected from 204 out the 207 local authorities in Great Britain, shows that nationally, drivers made at least 31,483 claims against councils for vehicle damage caused by poor road conditions in the last financial year.
However, councils only paid out in just over a quarter (26.9%) of cases, with the average value of a successful claim standing at £306.
In South Tyneside, just 93 claims were made in 2015/2016 of which just seven were successful costing a total of £2,141.
In the borough between 2014/2015 a total of 68 claims were made, of which 12 were successful costing a total of £3,614.
In Hartlepool just 32 claims were made in 2015/2016 of which just nine were successful, costing £1,532.
A total of 10 claims were made in Hartlepool in 2014/2015 but only one was successful costing £92.
In County Durham 97 claims were made in 2015/16 of which just four were successful costing £908.
In 2014/2016 there were 38 claims made of which two were successful costing £367.
In Sunderland just 68 claims were made in 2015/16 of which seven were successful costing £1,281.
In the city between 2014/2015 a total of 69 claims were made, of which four were successful costing £1,175.
Nationally, the government’s own assessment is that there is a road maintenance backlog of up to £8.6 billion.
The latest annual ALARM survey of local authority highways departments puts it at £11.8 billion.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “These figures are symptomatic of the inadequate funding available for local road maintenance.
“Year in, year out, the backlog of work on local roads is estimated to run to several billion pounds.
“A pitted road surface isn’t just a problem for motorists – for those on two wheels it can be life threatening.
“Just last week the Chancellor acknowledged that there had been decades of underfunding in the nation’s infrastructure and that he was keen to support targeted, value-for-money public investment.
"Providing the funds to fix our roads would be a great place to start and would show rapid results.”