A FRACTION of pothole damage compensation claims is successful because of the vigorously maintained road network, an Essex County Council spokesman has claimed.

The response comes after a freedom of information request found only 1.22 per cent of drivers who claimed damages after their cars were affected by potholers received compensation from Essex County Council last year.

And a spokesman for Essex Highways also said road defects were almost always repaired urgently.

He said: ““All compensation claims are investigated fully and damages paid if the council has been liable.

“The majority of claims are successfully defended because we are very rigorous in our maintenance of the network.”

The spokesman went on to explain that compensation was unlikely to be paid after all the necessary procedures had been carried out.

“Following reports of any incidents or accidents, we re-inspect the defect and almost always repair it urgently, or have already repaired the defect.

“However, we have a duty to ensure that public, taxpayers’, money is used responsibly and therefore required to establish legally whether compensation should be paid in each particular case.

 “Having followed our own valid, published procedures, so that we have inspected the defect, logged it, allocated the correct priority and planned to repair it to a timescale accordingly, then compensation is unlikely to be paid.”