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England's most hated roads revealed: These are the routes drivers made the most complaints about last year

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 10/10/2018 Rob Hull For Thisismoney.co.uk

Aerial view of junction at M25 and M23 motorway © Getty Aerial view of junction at M25 and M23 motorway A new report has named and shamed theroads in England that motorists told councils were in the worst condition.

Using data gathered through Freedom of Information requests, online retailer Car Parts 4 Less listed the 10 routes that people repeatedly complained about last year, with Oldham Road, in Manchester, coming out on top and London's retail-heavy Oxford Street in second.

The roads that had the most funds spent on their upkeep in 2017 were also revealed.

a close up of a map: England's worst roads: These are the 10 roads that councils received the most complaints about last year © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited England's worst roads: These are the 10 roads that councils received the most complaints about last year

Oldham Road in Manchester, a four mile stretchfrom the city's ring road, heading north east to Hollinwood, was subject to the most criticism - mainly from disgruntled motorists.

Manchester City Council tallied up no fewer than 741 complaints from drivers and riders last year - most of which were in relation to the poor condition of the tarmac. 

That's despite Manchester being given £19.8 million by the Government in 2015 for the maintenance of local highways until 2021, according to Department for Transport data.

Last year, Manchester City Council spent only £24,800 on the maintenance and repair of Oldham Road - though it was the largest amount spent by the authority on a single road in the last 12 months.

Nathan Blake, 23, from Manchester, was one of many to complain about the state of the road on social media, saying: 'I try to avoid Oldham Road as much as possible but sometimes I have to use it to drive into the town centre. It's full of potholes and I always worry about damaging my car - I got a flat tyre from a pothole just the other week.'

a sign on the side of a road: Oldham Road, a four mile stretch from the Manchester's city Ring Road heads North East to Hollinwood © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Oldham Road, a four mile stretch from the Manchester's city Ring Road heads North East to Hollinwood

The online car parts seller conducted the same Freedom of Information request a year ago.

In 2017, it also found that the North West had the worst roads, with highways in Lancashire, Salford and Cheshire receiving the most complaints.

The latest data showed that Westminster Council had the second highest volume of calls from unhappy members of the public regarding a single road.

This was directly aimed at Oxford Street - one of the busiest routes in the country for drivers, riders and shoppers.

A total of 589 complaints were made about the road by the public over 12 months.

The study said the majority of road complaints made to councilsare about potholes.

According to AA, they cost drivers almost £684 million in repairs each year, with a pothole compensation claim made by Britons every 17 minutes.

In 2016 to 2017, the UK government provided £4.5 billion to improve road conditions. 

a close up of a street: Potholes are the biggest cause of complaints. The most moaned about road in Manchester had the highest maintenance spend of any route in that area © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Potholes are the biggest cause of complaints. The most moaned about road in Manchester had the highest maintenance spend of any route in that area
Councils that spent the most on a single road’s maintenance in the last 12 months 
CouncilRoadAmount Spent on MaintenanceRegion
Dorset County CouncilBournemouth Spur Road (A338)£6,577,442.82South West
Kent County CouncilThanet Way (A299)£5,800,000South East
Herefordshire CouncilLedbury Road (A438)£3,400,000West Midlands
West Berkshire Council A339, Newbury £2,580,000South East
Bracknell Forest CouncilBagshot Road (A322)£1,154,000South East

Four out of five councils that spent the most on a single road's maintenance over the 12 months are based in the South.

A spokesperson from Car Parts 4 Less said: 'It interesting to see this year's worst and most expensive roads in direct comparison to last year. 

'Once again the North West has the number one most complained about road, and year after year the South are spending the most on road maintenance.

'Although this tool won't fix the offending roads for drivers, it should help driver's awareness of the worst roads and which to avoid to protect their car from damage.'

How to make a successful claim for car damage caused by potholes 

Who do I raise my complaint with? 

If your car is damaged by a pothole you should complain to the local authority responsible for the road with the pothole – or the Highways Agency if the incident occurred on a motorway or A road.

What evidence do I need to collect?

Make a note of where and when the incident took place. You can also return to the scene and measure the depth and diameter of the crater. Potholes of at least 40mm deep are generally considered to pose a danger to vehicles.

If possible, take photos of the pothole and its surroundings to support your written complaint and get your mechanic to provide a comment about the damage to your vehicle and an itemised bill for their work if they have made a repair.

Do I need to report the pothole? 

Irrespective of your claim, notify the relevant authority about the pothole so that it goes onto their register.  

What are my rights? 

Follow the relevant authority's instructions to make your claim. They will either reject it or pay out.

Your right to claim is covered by the Highways Act 1980: section 41 of the act requires authorities to maintain roads and allows damages to be paid if they fail to do so.

However, Section 58 of the act gives them a some loopholes. This says that you should be entitled to recompense if the council was aware of the pothole that caused damage to your vehicle or, crucially, if it is reasonable to expect the council to have been aware of the hole.

In short, if the authority can prove it had taken reasonable steps to maintain the stretch of road in question, following national guidelines – they might nit have to pay out. 

The local authority won't pay out. What else can I do? 

Dealing with highway or local authorities can sometimes be frustrating, and there is a chance that authorities will try to deny your claim - less than a quarter of claims are successful, but that doesn't mean you should give up.

The Section 58 defence (detailed above) is the most commonly used by council to reject claims. If that's the reason behind the refusal to compensate there are still some avenues you can take.

One is to send a Freedom of Information Act 2000 request asking for evidence that the authority has taken the necessary steps to attempt to repair the pothole that caused the damage. They have to respond to your FOI within 20 working days.

If they do provide evidence, compare it to the guidelines set out for councils by the UK Roads Liaison Group.  

If you think the authority has failed to follow these guidance then you may want to consider taking your claim further. But if they've followed it to the letter you may struggle to get any further. If you still think your case is strong, you can present your evidence to a small claims court.

Can I claim on my motor insurance policy? 

If the authority refuses to compensate, you may be able to turn to your insurer, providing you have comprehensive cover.

Insurance claims are an option, but you should take time to consider the ramifications of pursuing a claim, if the repair costs are especially high (for suspension damage, for instance).   

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