National Highways paid out £865,254 in compensation for the damage caused to vehicles by poor road surfaces on its network, between January 2018 and October 2021.

Research shows that drivers submitted more than 145,000 compensation claims between January 2018 and October 2021, with local and national road authorities paying out in 37,366 cases - 25.7% of all claims.

Each claimant received, on average, £347 each for repairs. Researchers found that, in comparison, the cost of filling a pothole is estimated at around £47.

National Highways, which manages a 4300-mile network of motorways, dual carriageways and other A-roads in England, paid out the most compensation in the period, totalling £865,254.

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Five county and city councils were found to have paid more than half a million in compensation between 2018 and October 2021. These are Lincolnshire County Council, Surrey County Council, Lancashire County Council, Staffordshire County Council, and Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

The findings, revealed by a Freedom of Information (FoI) enquiry by WhatCar, closely follow a report from the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) which revealed that the backlog of essential repairs required to bring UK roads up to standard has reached £12.64bn.

The AIA survey said that despite an average rise in highway maintenance budgets of 4% last year, the amount being spent on resurfacing has fallen due to council highways engineers directing funds to filling potholes. The AIA said this "addresses the symptoms, not the cure".

In addition, county and rural councils will see their funding for road maintenance fall by nearly £500m by April this year, according to the County Councils Network (CCN).

CCN found councils outside of England’s major cities and urban areas will receive £727m for roads maintenance in the next financial year, a reduction of £480m compared to two years ago.