NORTH Yorkshire Council paid out £385,000 to motorists last year in insurance claims due to cars being damaged by potholes and road defects.

However the amount has fallen sharply from the year before when £1.03 million was spent on compensation by the highways authority.

The figures were published in the council’s quarter 1 performance report, which was discussed at a meeting of the Conservative-run executive in Northallerton.

Motorists are able to claim compensation if they are able to prove that damage to a car was caused by a pothole on the council’s roads.

During the last financial year, 282 new claims were received which is the second lowest amount since 2012/13.

Conservative councillor for Settle and Penyghent, David Staveley, said there was a “myth” that councils are paying out millions a year in claims.

North Yorkshire Council has one of the largest road networks in the country with over 9,000km of roads and the council’s executive member for transport and highways, Conservative Cllr Keane Duncan, said he was satisfied with the total amount that was paid out.

Cllr Duncan said: “In terms of dispelling the myth of millions of pounds being made out in compensation, the annual figure is around £375,000. For a highway network the size of ours, we’re quite comfortable with that figure.”

Figures supplied to the Local Democracy Reporting Service show there were 3,714 reports of potholes across North Yorkshire in 2022/23, the highest number since 2018/19.

During last year, the council spent almost £6.5m repairing roads in the Harrogate district and £2.5m in Craven.