Wiltshire Council paid out more than £30,000 in compensation claims from drivers last year, it has been revealed.

In 2020, Wiltshire Council forked out £36,038 in compensation to 239 drivers because of damage caused by its roads.

This is a significant drop in claims from the previous year when 365 motorists received £57,427.

Lockdown is thought to have contributed to the drop in claims but the council says road improvements such as filling potholes and resurfacing could have contributed.

Cabinet member for highways and transport, Dr Mark McClelland said: “The council considers each claim to determine liability and whether it has been negligent or in breach of its legal duties.

“Where appropriate we defend claims to ensure best value for the taxpayer and we are successful in defending 74 per cent of claims.”

Between 2020/21 the council filled 10,009 potholes – an increase of more than 20 per cent on the previous year.

It also finished repairs to 54,510sqm of road, resurfaced 142km and retextured 39.5km of road to improve skid resistance.

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“Our five-year strategy for improving the condition of Wiltshire’s road network is showing benefits; the condition of our A class roads has improved and they are now in line with the national and south-west averages and our B and C class roads are in better condition than the national average and much better than the south-west average,” Cllr McClelland continued.

“This improvement in condition is also being extended to unclassified roads in Wiltshire where we have seen improvements over the last two years.

“In 2021/22 we will be investing over £22m in Wiltshire’s roads, to deliver further improvements to our road network.”

According to a report from MoneySuperMarket last year, since 2017 Wiltshire Council topped the list of local authorities spending cash to fix potholes. It revealed that Wiltshire spent £69m fixing 43,280 blights on its roads.

It was reported in February this year that the local authority is set to receive £20.7m from the Department for Transport to maintain roads in 2021/22.

This is however, £6.3m less than the £27.1m provided in the previous financial year (2020/21) – a reduction of 23 per cent.

DfT estimated the funding could fill 184,000 potholes.