HEREFORDSHIRE Council has a target of not paying a single penny on claims made for car damage caused by potholes.

The county highway maintenance plan says they have a 100% target for claims received that are not settled and/or defended successfully.

A freedom of information request has revealed that as of June 1 this year, claims rejected to Herefordshire residents that have had vehicle damage due to potholes total 83, between November 1, 2017 and April 30.

As of 30 May 2018, the council has paid out £1,109.12 to residents that have had vehicle damage due to potholes between that period.

Claire Jacobs, the council’s information access officer, said: “This relates to five separate claims.

"There is a further one claim where an offer of £550 has been made but acceptance is still outstanding.

“The criteria used that determined these payments was that we were unable to rely on the statutory Section 58 Defence for these claims.”

Last week the Hereford Times reported that out of 558 claims made to the council for pothole damage repairs last year, just 24 were successful.

The claims were made to the council during 2017 for reimbursement of bills paid to repair damage to vehicles.

A Herefordshire Council spokesperson said: “We inspect and repair highway defects in accordance with criteria detailed in our Highways Maintenance Plan which adopts a risk-based approach to categorisation of defects and is our reasonable system of inspection and repair.

“As the highways authority, we intend to meet our duty to maintain our roads in full and do so in accordance with the requirements set in the Highways Act with very few exceptions.

“We have made significant improvement in the overall condition of the county’s roads in recent years, but are now having to respond to a fivefold increase in defects following last winter.

“However, there is still a long way to go to bring our roads up to the condition that we all would like to see.

“It is the aim of Herefordshire Council to fix our roads and improve the condition of our highways, but this will take time and an overall sustained investment in planned road maintenance.”