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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 08:06 GMT
Potholes costs increase to 56m
Poor road maintenance was behind an increase in damages claims
Nearly a million potholes were filled in last year in England and Wales at a cost of 56m, a new report reveals.

There were more potholes repaired in London than anywhere else, with 258,000 filled in last year.

The report from the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) said poorly maintained roads had led to an increase in claims for damaged vehicles and accidents.

Local authorities paid out 50m in compensation to motorists in 2006, a 63% rise over the last decade.

Poor condition

The average cost to fill one pothole in London was 72 - above the national average of 56.

It would take engineers more than 11 years to repair every pothole in England and Wales, according to the AIA's annual survey.

AIA chairman Jim Crick said: "The number of potholes is an indicator of the general poor condition of the local road network."

Paul Watters, of the AA, said litigation as a result of poor road conditions was eroding local authorities' already overstretched budgets.

"There are clear indications that local authority road maintenance budgets are being squeezed and this jeopardises the slowly-improving picture regarding road condition," he said.

Kevin Clinton, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: "The existence of so many potholes on our roads introduces a driving hazard we could do without."

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