DOZENS of motorists in the region have made claims over potholes causing damage to their vehicles.

Almost 100 people pursued claims against Wrexham Council in the last financial year, the highest number received by any local authority in North Wales.

The figures, which came to light under the Freedom of Information Act, showed more claims were made compared with the previous financial year – but the rate of success was much lower.

Out of the 92 people that made claims in 2013-14, only 14 were successful, resulting in a total payout of £5,610.33 for damage.

In 2012-13, around half of the 65 people who made claims against Wrexham Council were successful. A total of 32 people made successful claims against the local authority with £24,504.42 paid out to claimants.

The figures come almost two months after a Statistics for Wales survey showed Wrexham had the highest proportion of principal roads “in need of further investigation” because of their poor condition.

In Flintshire there were 55 claims against the local authority in in the 12 months to last April, of which seven were successful, resulting in a total payout of £1,347.11.

Flintshire Council saw a reduction in both the number of claims and the proportion of successful claims.

In 2012/13, 62 people made claims with seven being successful resulting in a total payout of £2,153.42.

Almost 50,000 drivers across Britain made claims against councils for damage caused to their vehicles by potholes in the last financial year.

The 200 local highways authorities in England, Scotland and Wales who responded to Freedom of Information requests dealt with 48,664 compensation claims in the 2013-14 financial year.

In Wales, there were 1,491 and 266 of them were successful, with the total value of successful claims coming to £73,000.

Seven local highways authorities across the UK did not provide figures, which were gathered after a series of Free dom of Information requests by the RAC.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said the figures are likely to be “the tip of the iceberg” and said councils are not given enough money for roads.

He said: “Many drivers will be put off by the time involved in claiming against a council and many councils do their best to deter claimants coming forward.

“But the fundamental problem lies not at the doors of our town halls but with central government.

“Despite occasional one-off grants related to periods of harsh weather, they are simply not giving councils enough money to keep their road networks up to scratch.”

A Statistics for Wales survey released late last year found that almost 17 per cent of principal – A, B and C category – roads across Wrexham were considered “in need of further investigation” because of their poor condition.

Of the 22 local authorities in the whole of Wales, Wrexham’s rate of 16.7 per cent was the second highest behind Powys.

The county’s figure had risen from 14.7 per cent in 2012-13.

Wrexham Council spent £3.2m on resurfacing carriageways in 2012-13 and another £2m last year.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “Good local roads are vital for our transport network and it is for local councils to maintain them properly.

“This government has provided more than £4.7billion since 2010, an increase of £1bn compared to the previous parliament.

“As part of our long term economic plan, we will also spend a further £6bn between 2015 to 2021 providing councils the certainty they require to plan how they will keep their roads maintained.”

Cllr David A Bithell, lead member for environment and public protection, said: “Wrexham Council has recently updated its highways safety inspection policy, which sets out how often it inspects its highways network and how it categorises and responds to identified defects. 

“The policy is based upon best practice and was developed in conjunction with the council’s insurer and compliance with the policy is a key factor in the council being able to defend claims. 

“The number of and value of claims received so far in 2014-15 has decreased compared to 2013-14. 

“The council proactively defends all claims received. 

“The recent consultation on the council’s budget indicated how the public value the standard of the county borough roads and consequently planned cuts have been withdrawn from this area. 

“The available funding for roads is a key issue for all councils.

“In Wales, additional resources would be welcomed as they have been in England.”